As there have not been many changes recently it is a good time for a coronavirus support update. Changes may occur with the government announcement on lockdown easing on 22 February, and the Budget which follows on 3 March. The main areas affecting clients are as follows:

  1. The furlough scheme continues allowing employers to claim 80% of employees gross pay, but having to cover employers NI and pension costs. Claims must be made by 14th of the following month and the scheme is currently ending in April, although there are calls for an extension, possibly for certain industries if not across the board.
  2. The self employed income support scheme (SEISS) has already made 3 payments, and the 4th covering February to April 2021 is expected to be paid in May, but the rate and terms have yet to be released – self employed must include the grants received in their tax returns for 2020/21.
  3. Bounce back loans must be applied for by 31 March 2021, the first year is interest free then 2.5% pa. The length of the loan is 6 years but can be extended to 10 year and there are also 6 month interest only and pauses available.
  4. There are various discretionary grants available from local authorities, generally to support businesses which do not qualify for other grants.
  5. Deferred VAT – if you chose to defer the VAT from last February, March and April 2020 quarters (ie payable in April, May and June), this must be paid by the end of March 2021
  6. Self assessment time to pay – there is an online application to set up a payment plan for self assessment payment providing you owe £30k or less

Feedback from clients and the press indicates there is alot of pent up demand in the economy and hopefully this means there will be a strong return as lockdown is eased, and infections are brought under control by the vaccine. This has been prepared based on our experience with clients and may not reflect your situation.  You should seek professional advice before taking any steps based on these contents. If you would like advice in this or other areas feel free to call. Alastair Wood, AW Accounting, Shrewsbury, Shropshire – Accountants who “speak your language”