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This tracker covers measures announced by the government to support individuals and businesses, as we get through COVID-19.

Measures are being announced and this tracker is updated on a daily basis.

The Coronavirus Bill gives the government emergency powers to deal with the crisis in any way it needs. The bill includes some Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) measures. Further tax legislation enabling the other measures is being announced as the government devises it. The chancellor gave his Summer Economic Update on 9 July 2020.

At a glance: new measures

Employers & Employees

Self-employed 

Tax payments & compliance

VAT

Business rates

Cash funds

Loan funding 

The following loan funds have been announced during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. They are open until 31 March 2021 - announced 17/12/20

Other loans include:

See COVID-19: Loan funding

Overseas

Land & property

Hospitality

Individuals

Pensions

Savings


Overview 

Employers and employees

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

Employers may claim a grant of up to 80% of past salaries of employees who would have been laid off during this crisis. This is subject to a cap of £2,500 per month.

There are different variations of the scheme:

March to October 2020

November to April 2021

See Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from 1 November 2020

Job Support Scheme

Job Retention Bonus

COVID-19: Issues for directors and shareholders

See COVID-19: Company Directors & Shareholders

COVID-19 Homeworking guidance

See COVID-19: Working from home

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

HMRC's new claim portal went live on 26 May 2020.

The legislation is amended to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme is as follows:

Key essentials for employers

The online system for making an SSP reclaim will be available from 26 May 2020 through PAYE online. Where employers use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for them, the agent can make a claim on their behalf.

See HMRC Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Off-Payroll Working & SSP

See COVID-19: IR35 & Off-Payroll Working

IR35 & private sector Off-Payroll Working

See COVID-19: IR35 & Off-Payroll Working

Employment-Related Securities: Deadlines for registration of new schemes and filing of returns

See Employment-Related Securities: What’s New? June 2020

Kickstart Scheme

See Kickstart Scheme

Apprenticeship and training payments

See A Plan for Jobs 2020: Helping the unemployed

Employer-provided PPE and virus testing

See COVID-19: Employer-provided PPE and testing

Employer-reimbursed virus testing

Cycle to Work Scheme

See Cycle to Work

 

Self-employed

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) 

First and second grants paid to 13 July and from 14 July:

Extension of scheme from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021:

See Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

See Our SEISS eligibility tool (this is made by us and not an HMRC tool) - added 30/4

Scotland: Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

A one-off grant of £2,000 if you became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 & unable to claim under the SEISS.

To be eligible you must:

See COVID-19: Scotland

Self-employed and low earners

Sick Pay

VAT

VAT payments may be deferred until 31 March 2021. 

A payment deferral applies to VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 for VAT registered businesses.

This is a deferral of tax and not an exemption: effectively, this is a fast way to provide business with emergency funding.

See COVID-19 VAT deferral 

 

VAT: Making Tax Digital (MTD) Digital links

 

 VAT: Temporary zero-rating of PPE from 1 May 2020 to 31 October 2020

See COVID-19: Temporary zero-rating for PPE

 

VAT: Option to tax deadline extended

See COVID-19: Option to tax deadline extended

VAT: CIS Domestic Reverse Charge

See COVID-19: CIS Reverse Charge VAT

Temporary VAT cuts for hospitality and tourism

In his Summer economic update, the Chancellor announced a temporary cut to the rate of VAT on food, accommodation and entry fees to attractions from 20% to 5% until 12 January 2021, which was extended in his Winter Economic Plan to 31 March 2021.

VAT on food and non-alcoholic drinks

From 15 July 2020 to 31 March 2021 (previously 12 January), to support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector:

VAT on accommodation and attractions

From 15 July 2020 to 31 March 2021 (previously 12 January):

See Summer Economic Update 2020: Temporary VAT cuts

Deferring Income Tax payments

Income Tax

Income Tax payments on account due by 31 July 2020 for the 2019/20 tax year under the Self Assessment system may be deferred.

See COVID 19: Deferring Income Tax payments

Business taxes: Time to Pay

See COVID-19: Time to Pay

Corporation Tax: claims for early repayment

Companies House

A three-month filing extension was announced in respect of accounts from 25 March 2020. This now applies automatically until April 2021.

See COVID-19: Companies House filings


Appeals: Reasonable excuse

See Coronavirus is a reasonable excuse

Appeals: Reasonable excuse (Corporate Interest Restriction: CIR)

See Corporate interest restriction

Appeals: Deadline extended

See COVID-19: Tax appeal deadlines extended

 

HMRC late payment interest rate cut

HMRC interest rates for late payments will be revised after the Bank of England interest rate reduction to 0.1%.

These changes will come into effect on:

Repayment interest rates remain unchanged. Added 20/3/2020

The rate for underpayments of quarterly instalments is reduced to 1.25% from 23 March 2020. Added 24/03/2020.

See COVID-19: HMRC reduce late payment interest rate

 

CGT: Soft landing on penalties under new 30-day reporting regime

See Change to new CGT reporting

 

Access to Heritage Assets: Conditional Exemption Tax Incentive Scheme 

 

Business Rates

Small business rates scheme

Business Rates: Expanded Retail Discount

See COVID-19 Business Rates

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

 

Grant funding

Cash grants are available to support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

See COVID-19 Grant Funding for Business.

SME business support grants

A £20m fund for grants of £1,000 to £5,000 to help SME's rebuild.

See £20m in new grants for SME’s

Arts Council funding

Cash grants are available: there is a tight deadline for applications.

See COVID-19: Arts Council Funding 

Insurance

Check your policy wording and contact your insurer.

Hardship Fund: Social housing and homeless

Payment scheme for people living in high-risk areas on low incomes, need to self-isolate and cannot work from home

The scheme opens on 1 September 2020 and will initially only apply in specific areas subject to local lockdown starting, on a trial basis, with Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle, and Oldham.

It will apply to people who:

Eligible individuals will receive £130 for their 10-day period of self-isolation.

Those eligible to receive a payment will need to provide:

Other immediate changes applicable for direct and indirect taxes

Statutory Residence Test (SRT)

See COVID-19: Statutory Residence Test

 

Landlords & Tenants

Private or social accommodation. 

Commercial tenants

See COVID-19: Landlords & tenants

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

HMRC has updated its guidance on exceptional circumstances that allow refunds following a sale outside of the normal three-year limit to specifically include the impact of COVID-19 preventing the sale. 

You may still be able to apply for a refund, if you purchased your new home on or after 1 January 2017 and were unable to sell your previous home within 3 years. To be able to get the refund, the delay in selling must be because of reasons outside of your control. These may be, but are not limited to:

See SDLT Residential Porperty Higher Rate 

Land and Buildings Transaction tax, see COVID-19 Scotland

 

Pensions 

Temporary changes to pension tax for recently retired returning public sector workers

See COVID 19: Pension tax changes for retired public sector staff returning to work

Savings

Reduction in lifetime ISA withdrawal charge

Support Finder 


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