Corona Virus- what financial help is there for me?
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
Good Morning, I hope you are keeping safe and well in these very troubling times. We've been sending out regular updates to our clients regarding the corona virus and what financial help the government are providng. we've also been giving some of our own helpful tip on how to manage finances too. You'll see below our latest update. If you'd like to be added to the mailing list, please drop me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure you receive these updates too. Stay safe and keep an eye out for the next update.
We've been absolutely inundated and have replied to nearly all the e-mails we've received. I'll try and give you the latest news on what help is available and also answer some of the most common questions. Universal credit - if you don't qualify for anything that follows it may be worth applying for universal credit. Don't expect a fast response, they've received a million applications. Am I employed or self employed? - well firstly it doesn't help having the BBC wheeling out so called experts that describe people as self-employed directors. Directors cannot invoice their companies (with very limited exceptions) and should be remunerated through salary and/or dividends. So directors of limited companies are not self-employed. They are officers of the company and very often are employees Job Retention Scheme This is the scheme that the government announced whereby employers will be refunded up to 80% of staff wages up to £2500 per employee. There has again been a lot of confusion regarding this. It isn't a scheme where employees work for a week but only receive 80% of their wages. it is a scheme whereny if you don't have any work for an employee and would normally lay them off or make them redundant, as an alternative you can agree with them that they will go home and be furloughed employees. The employer pays a minimum of 80% of their salary. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their salary. This will be based on their February salary as far as we are aware. This will all be completed on a new HMRC portal that they are working on. We should have details by the end of Aprill and will update you when we do. It is possible for employees to be purloughed by multiple employees. Directors can also be furloughed but must not work other than to fulfill statutory duties. If you are self-employed you can't be furloughed. It also does not apply to dividends. please don't just backdate salary. The maximum per employee is £2500, but HMRC will also add employers NI and pension liabiliities. This is a very welcome measure, but there are still not enough details on this. Please note, existing systems (especially HMRC) are not equipped to deal with this. It's a deeply troubling time for us all, but for this particular measure I'm afraid there is no more immediate news. For those needing immediate financial assistance the business interruption loan scheme may be of help. The business interruption loan scheme Full details can be found here https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/ The banks have not exactly covered themselves with glory on this one, and the government are expected to make a public announcement on this today. So even if you have been turned down or didn't like the terms, keep an eye out for this update. Business Grants - these are for businesses that claim small business rates relief. We have been inundated, but the government has issued more detail. One thing they have said, and this shouldn't dissuade you from making genuine claims, is that anyone who abuses the scheme, or claims a grant fraudulently will be prosecuted. I can only advise that the same is bound to apply to the other measures announced. Details of the grants can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding I've spoken to South Gloucestershire Council and there is an online form to complete. They hope to pay out from this week so worth getting a claim in asap.they were very helpful and have staff dedicated to this. Presumably other councils will act similarly. There are two schemes and if you call the council they can help you make the correct application. Support for the self-employed - There is support similar to sick pay through Employment Support Allowance. Details on how to claim can be found here. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses if you are not eligible, you should qualify for universal credit. Who is a key worker - We've been asked about this a lot. We've not found a definitive list from the government, it all seems vague, so again, we need more guidance from the top, so for now advice is find what you can, some councils have published lists and applying common sense are the best we can do at the moment. There is still more to be done, more help for the self-employed and also more to be done on the job retention program. In the meantime we remain open, we are doing our work as usual whilst trying to reply to everyone and keep everyone updated. Please don't listen to the nonsense spouted in the Facebook world as fact. We all know how it goes "my mate Trevor's wife knows someone who's wife is an accountant and she said.......". We live in a world of instant knowledge and gratification. However, with much of this we remain in the dark awaiting more details from the government. So I won't get into speculation, but I will keep on looking to the government and other professional bodies for advice and practical guidance and giving the facts regularly as and when we are able and providing advice and support during these difficult times. Stay safe and I will update you again as soon as I know more. Kind Regards,