Your Number One Trusted Business Adviser

Telephone: 01305 760600

Email: info@advocouk.com

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 31 MARCH 2020

 

There have been no significant new announcements in the last few days and so I thought I would just try and summarise the main support packages that have been announced so far.

There are still areas that are not clear and need more clarification.

 In these difficult and rapidly changing times, please document the decisions that you make. We have to do the best we can at the moment.

 If you qualify for any of these schemes below and you have any questions or you have concerns regarding your business at all, please call us, we are still working (mostly remotely).

 All clients have various points of contact within the office and all of the staff are fully briefed on all of these areas.

 We will do all that we can to help clients get through this and out the other side.

 I have attached all of our main documents and guides again, just in case you have not got anything.

 If your business is now closed, you will probably feel very strange, businesses are very time consuming. They are very personal and we are all rightly very proud of our businesses. If you are finding this difficult, please check out our Wellbeing and Mental Health guidance, kindly provided by Jim Mussenden.

Try and use this time to rechange your batteries and plan how your business will come back better and stronger once we come out the other side of this, whatever that may look like.

 Cashflow will be crucial and whilst we have short term ‘emergency’ cashflow issues to consider at the moment, experience indicates that we will also have longer term cashflow issues when our businesses restart as we have to pay out for wages and supplies etc before we can invoice and get paid.

  

Summary of the Main Guidance and Reliefs available so far; 

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme -  more details will follow on this
  • Rates Related Relief and Grants (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)  
  • Support for Employers, including the Job Retention Scheme (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)
  • Support for the Self Employed, including the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)
  • VAT Deferral (see separate detailed guidance on our website)
  • Income Tax Deferral 
  • HMRC Time To Pay 
  • Support for Directors, lack thereof, so far (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)

 Please look at our guides and videos on the website.

 Cashflow is going to be increasingly important now and we have put cashflow templates, both personal and business on our website.

  

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Most banks are actually focussing on shorter term measures initially, like capital repayment holidays, credit cards and shorter term temporary overdrafts.

 Over the next week or 2 we will start looking at applying for these loans for clients who need them. We will need to submit the latest accounts, up to date management information (year to date figures) and a forecast, attempting to estimate the level of borrowing required.

The level of borrowing is likely to be around 3 months of expenditure, for expenditure items that are not covered by other support schemes ie if you can claim the Job Retention Scheme funding, the bank are unlikely to provide a loan to cover those wages costs as well.

Initially these loans were going to require Personal Guarantees (PG) from the borrower but the main banks have recently announced this will not be a requirement for loans under £250,000.

 However the banks have to lend money ‘responsibly’ and they must be confident that it will be repaid. Therefore any lending will be subject to scrutiny, it will only be for a reasonable amount of money and it will need to be serviceable.

 The banks will look at historical profit levels to check that the loan repayment will be affordable and the business can ‘service’ (repay) that level of monthly outgoing.

 The application process varies from bank to bank but we will help clients with this 

 

  • Rates Related Relief and Grants (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)

 I have completed a separate guide and a video on this which are on our website.

 The process will vary for each Local Authority.

 Your LA will contact you (if they have not already) to advise what the process will be and we can then assist you with this.

             If you own or rent a commercial building, you should have recently received a rates bill. It may not be correct because of recent changes.

             We are asking all of our clients to email us a copy of their rates bill, so that we can advise what scheme may / may not apply.

 If you do not have your managers email, please send your rates bill to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   

  • Support for Employers, including the Job Retention Scheme (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)

I have completed a separate guide and a video on this which are on our website.

 This scheme enable employers to Furlough staff which basically means, to lay off staff temporarily. Employers can then pay employees 80% of their normal wages.

 You do not have to be shut or forcibly closed down to utilise this scheme.

 Furloughing relates to individual employees and so you can have some employees who have been furloughed and some who have not.

 Employers will be able to reclaim 100% of the gross payroll cost back from HMRC, for furloughed employees,  using an online portal. (Gross payroll cost includes Gross pay, Employers NIC and Employers Pension contributions)

 The portal will not be ready until at least Mid-April and so this does present Employers with a cashflow issue of paying wages out, in advance of being refunded.

Employers will continue to process payroll as normal, except that they have to adjust the employees gross pay to 80% of normal pay, if they have been furloughed before starting the payroll calculations.

 It is the Gross pay that is adjusted by 80%.

 The reclaim process is totally separate from the normal payroll process and it will be completed through an online portal, that HMRC are currently in the process of setting up. We believe that employers will have to register to use this portal.

If we complete your payroll we will do all of this for our clients.

If you are a client of Advoco and you complete your own payroll, we will help you with the processes.

  

  • Support for the Self Employed, including the Self Employed Income Support Scheme - SEISS (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)

 I have completed a separate guide and a video on this which are on our website.

 The SEISS was the most recent scheme announced.

 We are sending all of our self employed clients a calculation based on the guidance issued so far about what you can expect to receive.

 To qualify you must have submitted a self-assessment tax return for the 18/19 tax year.

 The grants (not repayable but they are taxable income) for the self-employed will not be paid until June and so they will have a cashflow issue until then.

 HMRC will contact the self-employed, so please sit tight, you do not need to do anything at the moment.

 We will help our self employed clients claim the grants.

  

  • VAT Deferral (see separate detailed guidance on our website)

The VAT payment deferral scheme is automatic, no application is required

 There will be no VAT payments required from now until end of June.  All businesses will get 1 VAT payment deferred.

 For most businesses this will affect the VAT returns for the quarters ending February, March and April.

 Any VAT deferred will be repaid by the end of March 2021, with no penalties or interest

 This will give 9 months to make up the quarters payment that has been deferred from July 2020 to March 2021.

 Please cancel your DD to HMRC for VAT.

 You can still pay your VAT normally if you want too.

 You still need to file your VAT returns during this period.

   

  • Income Tax Deferral  

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

 You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until January 2021.

The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your second payment on account on 31 July you should do so.

  

  • HMRC Time To Pay 

 A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs.

 The number is 0800 0159 559

 However we are experiencing massive delays getting through to them at the moment.

 Our advice is to still defer any tax payments even if we cannot get it agreed over the phone with HMRC.

  

  • Support for Directors, lack thereof, so far (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)

 I have completed a separate guide and a video on this which are on our website.

 The Self Employed Scheme above has resulted in certain groups being ‘left out’ including Landlords, newly self-employed and Company Directors.

 Company Directors can be furloughed like other employees.

 However most Company Directors usually take a small basic salary through the PAYE scheme and so they will only receive 80% funding for this.

 In such difficult, fast moving times, we cannot have a totally fair system. However if we really are ‘all in this together’ why is there such a disparity for Small Business Company Directors, who were once considered the backbone of the UK economy?

 These business will contribute significantly to the future prosperity of our country and will pay their share of taxes, to repay the debt.

Business owners have been asked to help the Government to administer a huge new benefits system, as Employers, the JRS, to support employees.

 Many Business Owners will suffer severe financial losses during these difficult times and whilst obviously it is a ‘Health over Wealth’ situation, we need strong businesses in future to repay the debt that we are building up.

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-small-ltd-company-directors-to-get-government-support-like-the-employed-and-self-employed/psf/promote_or_share?guest=new&short_display_name=alan&recruiter=false&source_location=react-fe

 

Just to reiterate;

 If you qualify for any of these schemes above and you have any questions or you have concerns regarding your business at all, please call us, we are still working (remotely).

 All clients have various points of contact within the office and all of the staff are fully briefed on all of these areas.

 We will do all that we can to help clients get through this and out the other side.

 

 

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 30 MARCH 2020

 

All  of our Guidance Notes have been updated over the weekend.

 Summary of the Main Guidance and Reliefs available so far; 

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – More details to follow
  • Rates Related Relief and Grants (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)
  • Support for Employers, including the Job Retention Scheme (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)
  • Support for the Self Employed, including the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)
  • VAT Deferral (see separate detailed guidance on our website)
  • Income Tax Deferral
  • HMRC Time To Pay
  • Support for Directors, lack thereof, so far (see separate detailed guidance and video on our website)
  • Wellbeing and Mental Health (see separate detailed guidance on our website)

Please have a read of these, things are changing quickly as we get new announcements and new information.

Please take a look at the videos on our website, there will be a couple of news ones to day on how to practically process the payroll (I have attached a spreadsheet example) and on the rates related items (Finally!)

Once you have read all of the guides that apply to you and you have watched the videos please send us details of any questions. Clients can send an email and call us but please try to watch the videos and read the guides first because these will cover a lot of general questions.

We also have the WhatsApp groups for general Q’s as wel, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in joining.

Mortgage Lenders

For those of you looking to contact your mortgage lender, Martin Lewis has put together a very good summary below and more Lenders are offering an online / email system

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/#mortgagepaymentholiday

 We have heard most if not all lenders have been helpful, in line with the 'recommendation' of the Government

 

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 28 MARCH 2020

 

 

COMPANY DIRECTORS – LACK OF SUPPORT?

The support offered to Company Directors so far, is restricted to a claim under the Job Retention Scheme (JRS). Many Directors take a small basic salary and the remainder of their remuneration as dividends. This is perfectly legal. It is slightly more tax / NIC advantageous but that advantage narrowed significantly with the introduction of the Dividend Tax. Many business owners are advised to operate through a Limited Company for the protection of Limited Liability that it provides.

Under the schemes announced so far, Employees will get 80% of their wages covered by the JRS and they will continue to accrue holiday entitlement. The Self Employed can made a claim under the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Great news.

Business owners have been asked to help the Government to administer a huge new benefits system, as Employers, the JRS, to support employees.

Many Business Owners will suffer severe financial losses during these difficult times and whilst obviously it is a ‘Health over Wealth’ situation, we need strong businesses in future to repay the debt that we are building up.

In such difficult, fast moving times, we cannot have a totally fair system. However if we really are ‘all in this together’ why is there such a disparity for Small Business Company Directors, who were once considered the backbone of the UK economy?

These business will contribute significantly to the future prosperity of our country and will pay their share of taxes, to repay the debt.

If you agree, please consider signing the petition below.

HERE

 

 

 

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 27 MARCH 2020

 

 

 

I hope that you are all safe and well.

 

Big announcement last night from the Chancellor, mainly about a scheme to help the self-employed. The detail is attached and there is a general overview below. Please read the overview below first and then if this applies to you, please read the detail attached. Then watch the video on our website or Facebook and then if you still have questions please ask away but can I please ask that you read and watch first.

 

I have a couple of video meetings to attend now to try and gather further information on all the recent announcements and so I will not be free to  answer any questions until at least 11 am today.

 

 

Other matters for everyone;

 

 

WhatsApp Groups -  some great questions yesterday thank you. A couple of points;

 

            There are a number of groups, if possible try and answer the Q in the right group so that it helps everyone else who is also thinking the same

 

            Please try and avoid general chat – whilst we hope to be friendly, these groups are a means of asking Q’s.

 

            Also if the answers can come for Advoco please. I appreciate people are trying to help by answering questions but there is still a lot of misinformation out there and a lack of detail. It is also not an appropriate platform for general ‘opinion’ in these difficult times

           

 

Other Updates - I am desperately trying to do updates on Rates, Job retention Scheme and a FAQ’s. Please be patient and I will get there ASAP

 

 

 

SELF EMPLOYED

 

Read the Summary below and if you think this applies, print the guide attached for full details. Watch the video on the website or on  Facebook. Once you have done that, if you have any questions please ask but please read the detail and watch the video first because that will answer a lot of questions.

 

We expect to receive more detail about this scheme and so there are still a lot of questions following the details released last night.

 

We do not as yet have all of the answers, this is a very difficult and fast moving situation.

 

The SEISS scheme is relatively simple and along with the Job Retention Scheme for Employees, it will help a large % of the working population.

 

However that simplicity does result in an uneven / unfair situation for many in my opinion but it is a clearly a very difficult situation for them to deal with.

 

 

 

Directors;

 

If you are a Director of Limited Company, paying salary and dividends, the Chancellor made it clear that you are not self-employed and you will not get any support towards the dividends that you take.

 

However Directors will be covered by the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) if you are operating a salary through the PAYE scheme. Most Directors take a small, tax / NIC efficient level of salary and this will be covered by the JRS, if the Director is furloughed.

 

SORRY

 

  

Landlords;

 

There were no provisions at all for landlords.

 

SORRY

 

  

Self Employed –  

 

If you are self-employed (we will be contacting all of our self-employed clients ASAP), if your income has been affected, you will be entitled to receive a grant under this scheme

 

It is a grant, not a loan, it is not repayable but it will be included in your Accounts and it will be liable to Tax and NIC.

 

The Grant will not come through until June. You will need to find a way to support your cashflow in the interim period.

 

This scheme does not cover those trading through a Limited Company. Directors will need to claim under the Job Retention Scheme for their PAYE based salary, excluding dividends.

 

If you have recently become self-employed and did not submit a 2018/19 tax return you are not covered by this scheme. You will need to contact the Universal Credit system.

 

 

If your average trading profits exceed £50,000 you will get £0.

 

To qualify half of your income must have come from self-employment.

 

If you started self-employment after 06 April 2019 then it sadly appears you won’t qualify. You will need to contact Universal Credit and this is moving to an online process because the phonelines cannot cope.

 

 

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

 

 

The grant will cover the months March, April and May

 

You do not need to do anything. HMRC will contact you and they ask you to complete a form online if eligible according to their information. We will help our clients with this.

 

We will contact all of our self-employed clients with details of their trading profits on what the grant will be based upon and our calculation of what we think that you will be entitled to ASAP but I cannot give you a timescale.

 

We are clearly drowning in questions and my team are working around the clock so please stick with us.

 

All clients are important but this is all new to us as well and it takes time to set up our systems.

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 26 MARCH 2020

            

  • WhatsApp Groups
  • Rates
  • Self Employed
  • Personal cashflow
  • Job Retention Scheme
  • Summary of the Main Reliefs Announced So far

  

None of this information is precious or restricted and this is definitely not a sales pitch. We need to get as much information out, to as many as we can, as quickly as we can, please.

  

WhatsApp Groups

 We have 5 WhatsApp groups running now to ask questions on;

    1. General
    2. VAT
    3. Employers & JRS
    4. Self Employed
    5. Rates

You can join any, or all of the groups. Click on the invites on our website

http://advocouk.com/covid-19/join-our-whatsapp-groups

 Please join the groups of interest to you, ask questions and I will answer them ASAP. I will use these as a basis for a FAQ sheet as well.

 

Rates 

This is causing a lot of confusion and I believe there may be some more guidance on rates, being released. I will be doing a video specifically on Rates later today, which will be on the website later.

We believe that any rates reliefs will be a relatively automatic process but if your business qualifies for a grant, you will probably need to submit some information, including bank details, to your Local Authority, probably by a secure portal.

Please do not give anyone your bank details over the phone, scammers are already trying to take advantage.

Please have a look at our ‘current’ guidance at Rates which I have copied and pasted to the end of this, but this will probably be updated later.

 

 Self Employed 

So sorry for the delay on this but the Chancellor is speaking today on this subject, presumably in the early evening slot.

 Just to confirm, we do not have any detailed guidance as yet for the self employed or Company Directors or property landlords.

 The administration to support the self employed is very difficult and I think this is the main reason why any announcement has been delayed.

The Universal Credit helpline has been drowning in calls. At one point there were reportedly 76,000 in the queue.

 

Personal Cashflow

I would now recommend that everyone completes a list of their income and expenditure, if you have not already done so.

Accountants love a budget / cashflow but it not boring in these circumstances, it is essential that we all have an understanding of what is coming in, going out and when.

 There will be a spreadsheet available on our website later today called PERSONAL CASHFLOW. This will be a spreadsheet but use it as a template if you do not like spreadsheets and use a pen and paper instead.

 If you have not done this before, you need to prepare first.

Get as much paperwork together as you can, so all of your bills, invoices etc. Print or download your last 3 months bank statements and use these as a guide.

 Find somewhere quiet and you will need at least an hour in my experience.

 Use the excel sheet or your paper, to just put your outgoings in date order, using previous months bank statement as a guide. Complete everything you can as best you can, this will not be perfect. Highlight or circle anything that is uncertain.

 Depending on your opening bank balance and any reserves that you may have, the timing of any income that you may be getting in future, this cashflow should help show when you may have a personal cashflow issue.

 You need that information first before you can think about what to do about it.

  

Employers – Job Retention Scheme - JRS

 Myth – “We have to be closed down by the Government to claim back employee wages under the scheme. “      Total Nonsense.

 Please, if it is not safe to go to work, send your staff home.

All Employers can claim employee wages back under the JRS. You do not have to wait to be shutdown by the Government or for the country to be put on total lockdown.

 Health has to be the priority now more than ever.

 If an Employer advises staff to go home and they are not working, the Employer can put the employees onto ‘Furloughed’ status (we have template letters that you can email to staff)

Once staff are Furloughed, the Employer will be able to claim 80% of their wages for those employees not working, up to a maximum of £2,500 pm, if you keep the staff on the payroll.

 The scheme applies to all employers and it is for all employees under the PAYE system. It will apply even if employers have laid staff off since 1 March.

 This assistance will be a grant (not a loan) from HMRC to cover wages.

 It is not a loan but it will need to be claimed and this will be through the PAYE system.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

 There are still many questions to be answered about this scheme, for example, what does not working mean.

 As soon as we have the detail we will provide an update.

 

Summary of the Main Reliefs Announced So far

I have attached a summary of the main reliefs attached so far and also various links below.

Please use these links, they are all very useful and also have a look at our overview

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

 

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

 

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/faqs/

 

CRORONAVIRUS UPDATE 24 MARCH 2020

 

Last night saw a very historic announcement from Boris, which included closing many more businesses for 3 weeks initially, a full list below;

 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF.pdf

 We have also now got some detail on the help that will become available for the self employed and there is a video on our website and Facebook and we have updated our self employed guide on our website as well.

 None of this information is restricted, please share with your friends and family, anyone who will benefit.

 

Should We / Can We Stay Open?

 

Some businesses will have to stay open if they provide essential services or if they are linked to essential services. The NHS and MOD for example are essential services and if you are supplying or supporting them, you may also be essential. The full list is available at the link below and I have copied and pasted these at the end of the notes.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 If you can stay open you need to consider staffing requirements carefully.

 If you have any staff in the at risk categories, or they should be shielded, or they are in contact with anyone in those groups, they should really not come to work and they only can if they travel alone and they are working alone.

 These staff should be Furloughed, put on short term lay off but not being made redundant. Please see our guidance on the Job Retention Scheme.

 Then consider your remaining pool of staff and use some form of selection criteria to decide who can continue to work to help you provide your essential services.

 

Below is a list of retailers that will be allowed to stay open:

Supermarkets and other food shops Pharmacies Petrol stations Newsagents Bicycle shops Home and hardware stores Laundrettes and dry cleaners Garages Pet shops Post Offices Banks

Businesses will still be able to take online orders and deliver items to people's homes.

 

Looking at the partial lockdown, many of our clients will now be closing.

 If you are closing your business this will be a very difficult time. Your business is very personal to you and you probably spend more time in your business than anything else in your life.

 You will be worrying about finances, your staff, your customers and suppliers, as well as your friends and family. This is all very natural, we are all in the same boat, you are not alone.

 

If you have had to close and your staff are ‘not working’ they can be laid off temporarily, without being made redundant. This is termed, ‘Furloughed’ You are entitled to reclaim 80% of employees pay if they have been Furloughed.

 We will be sending clients a letter that they can send to staff to confirm they have been furloughed. These are unprecedented times but we still need to try and comply with Employment Law as much as possible. Obviously you cannot call staff meetings and so we think a letter is the best we can do in the circumstances.

 We would recommend that you try and let people know that you are closed temporarily and that you will be back ASAP and in the meantime they can contact you.

 Once you have done all of the essential temporary close down measures needed, take a step back. It has been a very chaotic couple of weeks. Your health and wellbeing and those around you, is more crucial than ever in difficult times. Recharge your batteries.

 You will then be in a much better frame of mind to consider the future of the business. We undoubtedly have difficult times ahead so use the time wisely so that you can position your business as well as possible.

 Look at the guides on our website, make a note of any questions that you have as you go through them and send us an email or call us. We are still very contactable.

  • Look at your business and your personal cashflow (or do a cashflow if you have not yet). There will be a template on our website. Identify when a cashflow problem hits.
  • Complete a personal income and expenditure plan, use your last 3 months bank statements.
  • Make a plan – what are you going to do when you can open again. We do not know when this will be but prepare. The plan can always be adapted.
  • Look at your business plan or do one. Review it, refresh it.
  • If you need to apply for any funding all of the above documents will be useful and will ensure we can approach lenders as well prepared as possible.

  

Essential Services

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

 Education and childcare

This includes childcare, support and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

 Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

 Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

 Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

 Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

  

Cashflow

Cashflow is going to be even more crucial than ever during this uncertain period. We recommend that our clients start by making an initial cashflow forecast for the next month. It does not need to be sophisticated. 

Something simple and understandable is better than nothing or something too complex. Make notes of any assumptions. Use the last months bank statement as a guide to the typical transactions and the timing of them. 

There will be a spreadsheet template on our website.

  • Consider spreading payments initially and focus on your largest outgoings first, contact them and ask if they can help
  • Contact banks and ask for a short term loan repayment holiday, this will extend the term of the loan
  • Contact other finance providers and ask for a short term loan repayment holiday
  • Consider deferring tax payments
  • Contact the Local Authority about grants and hardship funds
  • Contact the Business Support Line – 03004563565
  • Contact your insurer and see if you have any insurance cover
  • If you are Self employed contact JobCentre Plus about the assistance they may be able to receive

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 21 MARCH 2020

The Job Retention scheme was the big announcement yesterday.

 There are still some questions which will hopefully become clearer over the weekend.

 Can you please send wendy email addresses of bookkeepers, bankers etc anyone who you think may benefit from our updates.

Attached is a guide for the Job Retention Scheme which was the biggest announcement last night.

READ MORE HERE

The full package of measures, announced so far to support businesses include;

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

 

Other Measures Announced on 20 March;

Self-employed will able to access universal credit, up to the value of statutory sick pay.

 Tax self assessment payment normally due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until January 2021

There will be £1bn support for renters.

 

Business Interruption Loans

 These will Interest free for 12 months and we can  start to apply on Monday. We believe that the process will be as follows; 

    • Last years annual accounts
    • Current up to date Management Information
    • Forecast of the level of funding  required

  

VAT Payments

 VAT payment deferral scheme – Automatic, no application required

 No VAT payments from now until end of July.

 Any VAT deferred will be repaid by the end of March 2021, with no penalties or interest

 This will give 8 months to make up the quarters payment that has been deferred from August 2020 to March 2021.

 

Other announcements on 20 March included;

 Cafes, pubs and restaurants must close from Friday night (20/3), except for take-away food.

 Night clubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been asked to close "as soon as they reasonably can". 

 Crucially they did not include shops.

Boris Johnson said, 'We'll stand by businesses if you will stand behind your workers.’

 Other words used included

 Unprecedented,      All in it together,         Colossal Intervention ……….

  The announcements are a clear indication that Employers should try to avoid making staff redundant. The Government are paying a grant of 80% of wages up to £2500 pm for 3 months. This will give employers a lot of comfort and now you can look at making more medium term decisions.

 

This is all very welcome, it does provide a lot of businesses with a much better platform

and helps with employment costs and follows the measures for the Rates system. This will mitigate the  huge redundancies which were looming imminently next week before these measures were announced.

 However businesses have lots of other outgoings to consider as well and please still remember that ultimately cashflow will be king over the coming months.

 There is still a lot more help needed for the self employed and we hope that this will come through in further announcements next week.

Hopefully this indicates that they believe that this virus is causing a short term shock to the economy and they want businesses to be able to adhere to the medical advice but when we can all return to ‘normal’, businesses will be in a position to fire back up and trade at as close to capacity, as quickly as possible. This will help the economy to recover as quickly as possible.

  

Our Dial In Call Last Night

Thank you for all those that dialled in and apologies if you could not get through.

Thank you to Steve Gill and Anna-Maria Geare for their banking advice and also to Gill Fribbance (Nantes Solicitors for her Employment Law advice). I would also like to thank Geoff Timms of Comms UK for his advice about, laptops etc and alerting us to the banking scammers who are unbelievably taking advantage of this situation.

Honestly I really did not anticipate that many people would dial in but it does indicate the level of concern that we are all feeling at the moment. We are all in the same boat which is hopefully a little reassuring.

Apologies for some of the issues on the call with sound etc. I only thought about doing a call on Thursday night, when I was hopeful that the Chancellor was going to make some positive announcements. We were still testing at 4pm!

I wanted to be able to get the information from the Chancellor across ASAP and crucially before the weekend. We have had a lot of discussions with clients this week and a lot were heading towards considering redundancies over the weekend.

We do not have all of the answers but hopefully we cleared up some issues and it gave some of you a bit of breathing space and a slightly easier weekend.

I am looking at ways to improve our general communication with clients. We want to speak to all of you every day but that is impossible. We are also preparing for a lockdown.

I am looking at videos or webinars to provide information for clients (and non-clients, please share this to whoever you feel may benefit). You can then look at these in your own time and I can then follow this up with group calls. I will look to split the calls into groups, so that we have less people on each call.

If we do group calls in the future can I respectfully ask that you try and take the call in a quiet room away from background noises, TV’s and other devices which may create interference.

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