HMRC is bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
Eligibility is as follows:
- 2 weeks SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
- employ less than 250 employees (as at 28th February 2020)
- employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
Business Rates Support
A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses has been introduced for the 2020/2021 tax year.
A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
Any enquiries on eligibility for the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities will be released on the 20th March 2020.
The government will be providing additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that pay little or no business rates because of the Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR). This will provide a one off grant of £10,000 to business currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief to help meet ongoing business costs.
If your business is eligible you will be contacted by your local authority, you do not need to apply. Funding will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Delivered by the British Business Bank, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will launch next week.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan. The scheme will support loans of up to £5m in value. The first 6 months of the loan is interest free as interest will be covered by the government.
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
If you are concerned about paying your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
More announcements are due imminently and our teams are checking all updates from HMRC to see how we can help our clients. As soon as we know more we update here.