AKC Update - Government support for UK businesses during COVID-19 disruption

AKC Update - Government support for UK businesses during COVID-19 disruption

Posted on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 08:25
Support mechanisms for businesses

Government support for UK businesses during COVID-19 disruption:


You may be aware that the Government has announced a number of measures to support Businesses through the current Covid-19 disruption to the economy.  Additional support is being reviewed and updated as the situation evolves.  Some of the measures are targeted at sectors which have been more severely affected to date whilst others are more widely accessible.

Further information can be found and is constantly updated at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

In summary the main support mechanisms announced to date are as follows which have been categorised under business eligibility:

All UK businesses

  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

    • VAT payments will not need to be made from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020
      • This is a deferral of payments due in this period, but any payments deferred will need to be paid by 5 April 2021 under current guidance.
      • You will still need to submit your VAT return
      • If VAT is paid via direct debit this instruction will need to be cancelled with the bank in order to utilise the deferral
    • Income Tax payments due at 31 July 2020 for the self-employed are deferred until 31 January 2021


  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    • HMRC will reimburse 80% of wages of workers designated by a business as ‘furloughed’ (granted a leave of absence) up to a monthly cap of £2,500 per employee
    • Information will need to be submitted to HMRC online about employees and earnings
    • Employment law and contractual terms still apply to designated workers
    • AKC Payroll can assist clients with application


  • Paying tax: Time to Pay service
    • All business and self-employed in financial distress due to COVID-19 measures and with outstanding tax liabilities due to HMRC may be eligible to receive support
    • If you have missed a tax payment or might miss the next one due
    • Agreed on case by case basis with HMRC by contacting them on 0800 0159 559 near the time of payment
    • A payment plan can be agreed with HMRC
    • We understand that this applies to a range of taxes including PAYE


UK SME businesses employing fewer than 250 employees

  • Reclaim of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to employees for sickness absence due to COVID-19

    • Refund up to 2 weeks SSP per eligible employee
    • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and SSP payments
    • Employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
    • Applies to those self-isolating with symptoms and those isolating who live with someone with symptoms
    • Repayment mechanism is still in development with further details to follow
    • AKC payroll clients should contact us to discuss this further if applicable.


  • Small Business Grant
    • Small businesses that pay little or no business rates due to receiving small business rate relief, rural rate relief and tapered relief are eligible.
    • One-off grant of £10,000 toward meeting business costs
    • Local authority will contact you if eligible


UK retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates

  • Business rates holiday
    • Applies to the 2020-2021 tax year
    • Applies to businesses in England
    • Shops, restaurants, cafes, assembly and leisure venues, hotels, guest houses and self- catering accommodation
    • The same business rates holiday is also applicable to children’s nursery businesses.
    • No action required if business is eligible.  Adjustment will be made by local authority to council tax bill


  • Cash Grants

For businesses in properties with a rateable value under £51,000:

    • Eligible business in a property with rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000
    • Eligible business in a property with rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000
    • Businesses which do not pay business rates are not eligible.
    • Local authority will contact you if business is eligible and enquiries should be directed to them.


Support for self-employed

  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme

    • Self-employed individuals including members of partnerships who have lost income due to COVID-19 are potentially eligible
    • A taxable grant of 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months
    • Trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than 50% of overall income is from self-employment.
    • Must have traded in 2019/20 and intend to continue to trade in 2020/21 tax years
    • Based on average of 2019/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 trading profits for the tax years based on returns
    • Will be applied for via GOV.UK but not yet available and may not for a month or more.

Other support includes a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme operated by all major lenders and backed by the government.


Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

  • Commercial tenants who cannot pay rent due to COVID-19 will be protected from eviction
  • No business will automatically forfeit their lease if a rent payment is missed
  • This applies up until 30 June, but the government may extend this period
  • Tenants will still be liable for the rent in the future.
  • This has impacts for both tenants and landlords, so it is important to discuss this in advance as far as possible.

If you would like to discuss these measures with us we will be happy to help on 01380 724687 or by email info@akcagric.co.uk .

We trust that you are keeping safe and well during this time.

Best wishes


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