Coronavirus update: UK Government measures for small businesses

Here at Competex we have been closely monitoring the Government proposals to introduce measures to help small businesses like yours. Here is a brief summary of the updates that may be relevant to you over the forthcoming months and which have been confirmed to date.

  • Filing accounts on time. If you are unable to provide us with the information we need to prepare your accounts before the filing deadline, or are unable to review and approve the accounts due to illness, you can apply to Companies House for more time. This needs to be done before the filing deadline to avoid penalties. The forthcoming deadlines where this may of relevance are 31 March 2020, 31 May and 30 June 2020. Read more here.
  • VAT due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 does not to be paid, and may be deferred until 5 April 2021. Note that this measure is a deferral only to assist with cash flow, but the VAT liability will still be due in the future. VAT returns still need to be filed on time, but if you would like to take advantage of the payment deferral you should cancel any direct debit via your bank. HMRC will not cancel your direct debit if you wish to continue making payments.
  • Corporation tax that is due will still need to be paid. However, HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm. We urge you to contact HMRC before the payment deadline if you wish to discuss an arrangement to pay. It is our understanding that all Revenue debt enforcement activity will be suspended until further notice.
  • Income tax payments on account due on 31 July 2020 under Self-Assessment may be deferred to 31 January 2021.
  • For those whose assignments were expected to be affected by the new Off Payroll Working rules (IR35) in the Private Sector, these rules have now been delayed to April 2021. If you are working inside IR35 in the Public Sector, the Off Payroll Working rules still apply.

Finally, our understanding on the job retention scheme which will cover 80% of salary is that this applies to employees only and not to directors. However, a further announcement on help for the self-employed and freelancers is expected to be made on Thursday 26th March. We will provide further updates as soon as they are available.

Stay safe and well,

The Competex Team.

Amy FowlerCoronavirus update: UK Government measures for small businesses