I hope you are as well as can be with all things considered! Over the past few days I have seen so many people not following the guidelines and it’s all a bit worrying. Please be sensible and stay safe. Boris is to update at 20.30 so keep an eye out for that.
There is a lot to digest from recent announcements from HMRC and the link to their website is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses. They are urgently putting systems and processes in place to deal with the impact of the pandemic and I would hope comprehensive detail be released in coming days but more likely weeks.
I have had lots of calls over the past few days with clients, friends and associates. I’m here as a support and am happy to help where I can, if you have ideas please bounce them off me. I am in the boat with you all and I am keen to try my best to guide you through this critical business stage. Now if ever is a time to look deep into your business and review costings, speak with suppliers and landlords, chat with HP and finance companies to discuss options if you don’t need the assets (are there cheaper alternatives?). Contact your customers to determine payment arrangements. Take a look at your team, keep what you need and review the rest. Be stringent, if it is not essential can you offload?
Once you have reviewed the costings and spoken with everyone prepare a cashflow forecast. This will give you an underlying position of how far your cash will get you.
As you may have some time, if we go into lock down, review how you do business, can you do more online, are processes dated and automation is required. Are there any relationships that you wanted to build on, contact them and see if you can support in anyway. Times like this always create opportunity if you can view it all positively.
If anyone wants to discuss the above give me a call on 07966 463567.
Moving on to the HMRC guidance. The main items of discussion seem to be, the grants based on rateable value, the job retention scheme, Business interruption loan scheme.
Please note that you do not need to pay VAT liabilities up to 30/6/2020 and the payment of this debt will be due 5/4/2021. The returns still need to be submitted to HMRC by the given deadline.
For any income tax payer, your payment on account due 31/7/2020 has been deferred to 31/1/2021.
I do recommend that even if you have the cash available now, retain it in your business account and take advantage of the offerings from HMRC as we don’t know what state the economy is going to be in in the future.
Firstly, the grant is automatic and you do not need to apply. The local council has the responsibility of this conducting task and payments will be made in April.
The job retention scheme is really important as I think a lot of people will get this wrong. The initial guidance is not comprehensive at all. The staff that you are classing as furloughed will still need to be paid then a reimbursement be received of 80% of their wages from HMRC, up to £2,500. It is also important to liaise with your HR advisors to ensure redundancy pay doesn’t kick in for any reason. The new online portal to disclose furloughed workers is not in operation yet. I am hoping for some information on company directors and being out of work. I will update accordingly as I know more.
For finance support, the Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available from today. Some things to note:
• The loan may, at the discretion of the lender, be unsecured
• You will need to provide a business case for the application process – let me know if anything is required.
• Contact your bank via email – list of partners available on attached.
Have a read of everything then please do get in touch if you have any questions.
All the very best