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Defer your Self Assessment payment on account due to coronavirus UPDATE

Defer your Self Assessment payment on account due to coronavirus: 

You had the option to defer your second payment on account if you were: registered in the UK for Self Assessment and finding it difficult to make that payment by 31 July 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus. 

Check what you need to do if, after 31 July 2020, you chose to defer your second payment on account for the 2019 to 2020 tax year.



Job Support Scheme Guidance UPDATE

 

Job Support Scheme Guidance Updated

The Guidance for the Job Support Scheme has been amended to include businesses required to close as a result of the new Alert Scheme. It has also been updated to clarify the support for businesses with different rateable values

             Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).

             Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).

             Properties with an rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/job-support-scheme-expanded-to-firms-required-to-close-due-to-covid-restrictions



New guidance on Job Retention Bonus UPDATE

New guidance on the Job Retention Bonus

Further information has been published on how businesses can claim the government’s Job Retention Bonus.

The Job Retention Bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to you (the employer), for each eligible employee that you furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.

You’ll be able to claim the bonus between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.

Who can claim?

You can claim the bonus if you’re an employer who has furloughed employees and made an eligible claim for them through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Your employee must have been eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for you to be eligible for the bonus.

You can still claim the bonus if you make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme. Guidance on the Job Support Scheme will be published soon.

If you have repaid Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant amounts to HMRC

You cannot claim the bonus for any employees that you have not paid using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant because you have repaid all the grant amounts you claimed for them. This applies regardless of the reason why you repaid the grant amounts.

Employees you can claim for

You can claim for employees that:

  • you made an eligible claim for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • you kept continuously employed from the end of the claim period of your last Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim for them, until 31 January 2021
  • are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31 January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement)
  • you paid enough an amount in each relevant tax month and enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold

If HMRC are still checking your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims, you can still claim the Job Retention Bonus but your payment may be delayed until those checks are completed.

HMRC will not pay the bonus if you made an incorrect Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim and your employee was not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The minimum income threshold

To be eligible for the bonus you must make sure that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold.

To meet the minimum income threshold you must pay your employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout the tax months:

  • 6 November to 5 December 2020
  • 6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021
  • 6 January to 5 February 2021

You must pay your employee at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any amount) in each of the relevant tax months.

The minimum income threshold criteria apply regardless of:

  • how often you pay your employees
  • any circumstances that may have reduced your employee’s pay in the relevant tax periods, such as being on statutory leave or unpaid leave

We will check that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold by checking information you’ve submitted through Full Payment Submissions via Real Time Information (RTI).

If you are making redundancies

If you make redundancies, you must comply with the normal rules for redundancy, which include using fair redundancy criteria. These rules apply even if this means that fewer of your employees are eligible for the Job Retention Bonus.

 

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-claim-the-job-retention-bonus-from-15-february-2021

 

 

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme UPDATE

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

The Government has published guidance on the Test and Trace Payment Support Scheme. People contacted through the Test and Trace system in England and told that they need to self-isolate  are eligible for a £500 payment if they meet the following criteria:

             they’re employed or self-employed

             they’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating

             they’re currently receiving at least one of the following:

             Universal Credit

             Working Tax Credit

             income-based Employment and Support Allowance

             income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

             Income Support

             Housing Benefit

             Pension Credit

People in England who do not fulfil the above criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if they meet the following criteria:

             they have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

             they are employed or self-employed

             they are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating

             they are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

             they are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme



What help is available for the self-employed? UPDATE

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension

Updated 7 October 2020

The grant extension is for self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and are actively continuing to trade, but are facing reduced demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Who can claim

To be eligible for the grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

currently be eligible for the the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)

declare that they are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade

declare that they are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus in the qualifying period (the qualifying period for the grant extension is between 1 November and the date of claim)

What the grant extension covers

The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

HMRC are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. HMRC will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

How to claim

HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.

 

Where can I go for further information on the support available from Government?

The Government has launched a dedicated website with full details of the support available and more information on how to apply for each of the measures. Please click here to visit this website.

What grants are available?

Leisure, Hospitality and Retail Grants

Earlier this year the UK Government announced a series of grants for businesses based in England. For businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value up to and including £15,000 are entitled to receive a grant of £10,000 per property.

Businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will be eligible to receive a grant of £25,000 per property.

The Government has published updated guidance on the application of the grants for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. British Marine has been working closely with Tourism Alliance to ensure that many of our members, although not mentioned in the guidance, are recognised by local authorities as eligible recipients which fall into the intended category and receive this relief.

We are pleased that following our work with Tourism Alliance, the Local Government Association has subsequently confirmed that marinas, boat hire and passenger facilities do fall into the intended category and should, in its view, be eligible for this relief. 

British Marine would advise its members to contact their Local Authority if they are unsure on the classification of their business or would like further clarification.

Guidance issued by the Government to businesses on the grant eligibility can be found here.

For more information on the cash grant for businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors please click here.

 

Small Business Grant

The UK Government has also provided additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates. This is because these firms are either in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRF) or tapered relief. Businesses must operate from premises.

This is a one-off cash grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses in England.

For more information on this grant, please click here. Please also contact your Local Authority for more information.

For our members based outside of England, please check the information from the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive. This is because some aspects of business support are devolved. More information can be found on our Coronavirus hub.

What help is the Government providing to employers to enable them to furlough staff and safeguard jobs?

The Government is taking additional measures to protect jobs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This began in March. 

Employers can claim a grant from HMRC to cover most of the wages of staff who are not working but are furloughed and kept on the company’s payroll system. Individuals on full-time, part-time, agency, flexible and zero-hours contracts are all eligible.

On 12 May the Chancellor extended the scheme until the end of October. Subsequent changes mean that from July staff will be able to return part-time and from August employers will be asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of furloughed staff. The employer will be responsible for paying in work wages; however, they will be able to submit a claim under the scheme for usual employee hours not worked provided all other criteria is met. 

The changes mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:
  •   June and July: The Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as National Insurance and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.
  •   August: The Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay National Insurance and pension contributions.
  •   September: The Government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will continue to pay National Insurance and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up the 80% total - up to a cap of £2,500.
  •   October: The Government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay National Insurance and contributions and 20% of wages to make up the 80% total - up to a cap of £2,500.

Our members should be aware that the scheme is closing to new entrants. The last date that an employer could have placed a new employee on furlough was 10 June. As of 1st July, the scheme will only be open to employers that have previously used the scheme.

Further information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including details of how to apply and what information you require to make a claim can be found here. You can also use this calculator to help you work out the necessary employer contributions. 

 

What funds are available to firms that are innovating at this time?

The UK continues to invest in highly innovative firms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures have been announced to provide additional support.

Future Fund

The Government has established a ‘Future Fund’ for innovative companies which are facing financial difficulty following the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Through this fund, the Government will provide loans to UK based companies, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These loans will range in value – from £125,000 to £5 million. 

To be eligible, firms must have previously raised at least £250,00 in equity investment from third-party investors in the last 5 years. These loans may be applicable to companies which are ineligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan. 

Our members should that, following an announcement by the Chancellor in September 2020, the application period has been extended for some of the loan schemes, including the Future Fund. 

Further support package for SMEs which focus on R&D

The UK Government has also announced a financial package worth £750 million. This is being delivered in the form of grants and loans for SME’s which specialise in research and development. 

More information on these schemes and details of how to apply can be found here.

 

I’m not eligible for most of the support announced by Government, can British Marine help?

British Marine is fully aware that some of the measures announced by the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations will not be available to all of its members.

We are absolutely committed to supporting our members throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to do all we can to ensure they receive the support they need.

Earlier this year we contacted a number of Government departments requesting urgent financial support for small and medium sized businesses in the leisure marine sector. We lobbied heavily to secure support for businesses ineligible for the tourism and hospitality grants, and we also requested assistance with fixed costs; including moorings and annual licenses.

For more information on our lobbying activities, and to get in touch with a member of the public affairs team, please visit our Coronavirus Hub.

Has VAT been reduced?

Yes, but only for the tourism and hospitality sectors. The reduction was announced by the Chancellor in July. 

British Marine can advise its members that providers of holiday accommodation are eligible for this reduction. We can also confirm that houseboats are included as a form of holiday accommodation, as are holiday hire boats. VAT across eligible sectors was reduced from 20% to 5%.

The measure came into effect on 15 July and will now, following an announcement in September, end on 31 March 2021.

More information can be found here

I’ve been refused a grant by my local authority, what should I do?

British Marine is aware that some of its members have been refused the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant by local authorities and others are finding it challenging to prove their entitlement. 

We would advise our members to appeal any refusal if they are able toand evidence the statement from the Local Government Association which says that, in its view, marinas, boat hire and passenger boat facilities should be eligible for these grants.

Where this is unsuccessful, we would advise our members to discuss their eligibility for the local authority Discretionary Fund with the council to see if a different form of grant could be obtained. Three types of grant are being offered through this scheme – £25,000, £10,000 and a discretionary figure below £10,000. These grants, each available through the separate discretionary scheme, are for businesses which do not qualify for the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant or the Small Business Grant. 

This scheme is designed for small businesses and those with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs.

Has the UK Government announced loans specifically for smaller businesses?

Yes. Earlier this year the UK Government announced a new ‘Bounce Back Loan’ for smaller businesses.

The scheme is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses by allowing them to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. These loans include a 100% Government-backed guarantee.

Our members should note that the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced changes to the loan in September. British Marine can advise members that a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment scheme is being introduced to provide greater flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan. The changes include:

  • Extending the length of the loan from six years to ten;
  • Permitting interest-only periods of up to six months;
  • Introducing payment holidays for businesses most in need

The Chancellor has also announced that the deadline for applying for a Bounce Back has now been extended until the end of November.

The loans are being delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

For information on these loans and details of how to apply can be found here.


I am applying for a loan which is less than £250,000 do I have to provide a personal guarantee?

No. Banks are prevented from asking for personal guarantees on loans under £250,000 through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

It is possible that banks may ask for guarantees for loans above this amount, however this will only be applied to the share of the loan which is not guaranteed by the Government. This means that any personal guarantee will be capped at 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS after the proceeds of business assets has been applied.

We can advise our members that your Principal Private Residence cannot be used as a form of personal guarantee. More information is available from the British Business Bank.

Have additional discretionary grants been announced?

Yes. Earlier this year the Business Secretary announced further funding for small businesses. 

Local authorities may, through this scheme, provide three types of grant - £25,000, £10,000 or a figure under £10,000.

The additional grant funding is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Funds will be allocated at the discretion of local authorities. More detail on the scheme, which applies in England, can be found here

Further advice was published to help local authorities deliver the discretionary grant. This guidance confirms that the additional fund is aimed at businesses which were not eligible for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant.

British Marine would advise its members which found themselves ineligible for the other types of grants to contact their local authority to discuss their eligibility for discretionary funding. 
 

Will I have to pay Business Rates?

The Government is introducing a business rates holiday for all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the forthcoming tax year. This will apply to all businesses in those sectors and based in England. We understand that local authorities will contact eligible businesses directly to discuss the business rates holiday and any rebilling required.

Is my business classified as a Leisure Business / Does my business qualify for the Governments 12 month Business Rates Holiday?

The Rates relief is a billing authority (Local Authority) matter and not set by central Government.

Government guidance to Local Authorities outlines which properties will benefit from the relief.  These include hereditaments mainly used:

a. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,

b. for assembly and leisure; or

c. as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Chandleries and boat showrooms would fall within the scope of shops.

The Government has published updated guidance on the application of business rates relief for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. British Marine has been working closely with Tourism Alliance to ensure that many of our members, although not mentioned in the guidance, are recognised by local authorities as eligible recipients which fall into the intended category and receive this relief.

We are pleased that following our work with Tourism Alliance, the Local Government Association has subsequently confirmed that marinas, boat hire and passenger facilities do fall into the intended category and should, in its view, be eligible for this relief. This advice applies in England and Wales.

British Marine would advise its members to contact their Local Authority if they are unsure on the classification of their business or would like further clarification.

I am a small boating business with no premises, and I don’t pay business rates. Do I qualify for any of the grants?

The UK Government has announced a package of grants for businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors. These grants are intended for businesses which have premises and, under normal circumstances, would be required to pay Business Rates. Regrettably, businesses in these sectors which do not have premises (and therefore do not pay Business Rates) are ineligible for these grants.

British Marine recognises the importance of providing financial support to businesses in the industry which do not qualify for these grants. This is why we are lobbying Government to request specialist financial support for the industry, which takes into account the costs that our members do have to pay. More information can be found on our lobbying page.

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