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Corona Virus Update 25/03/2020

Posted 25/03/2020

The UK has been placed on lockdown due to the corona pandemic as stated in Boris Johnson’s public notice broadcasted at 8:30pm on 23rd March 2020. Citizens have been urged to stay inside their homes with only few exceptions: for grocery shopping for essentials and food, to exercise in a form on a walk or jog, or to travel to work where necessary. Non-essential stores, leisure centres, pubs and restaurants are among many to have permanently closed their doors until further notice to dissuade social gatherings.

The £10,000 grant for small businesses is eligible for those that receive a reduction in rates on a business property. This means that self-employed individuals operating from their own homes will not be eligible for this grant. By the end of the week, the Government should have released information on support self-employed individuals not eligible for the grant can claim to help them through this crisis. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is facing difficulties in appropriately deciding how funding should be made available based on a trade’s earnings and the effect the advice to stay at home has had on those figures.

There has been information about a New Style Employment and Support Allowance on HMRC’s website available for self-employed individuals, but at the moment this appears inaccessible. The claim involves a form that you can pick up at a jobcentre or print off, and to fill in at home. There is no sending address for this form as it is intended to accompany you to a meeting at the jobcentre which, understandably, is closed during this time. The jobcentre has cancelled any further meetings until future notices and has advised that it will be in touch with individuals who had a meeting booked previously. This may likely change once an announcement is made regarding financial support.

For businesses that are registered for VAT and are due to make a submission for the next quarter will have a 3-month extension for submission and payment, alongside a 3-month extension to limited company accounts. Many deadlines are being extended, varying from tax reports to car MOTs, so do check if a deadline is in the next month or two and if the Government has extended the time allowance to pay for the bill. The MOT deadline is only effective from March 30th so MOTs due in the next few days will still need to be taken to the MOT centres. Check online for information on your nearest MOT centre’s guidelines; some are refusing access to their workshops and are asking customers to speak with them over the phone once they are outside to prevent any face-to-face contact.

Funding is available from elsewhere; the Bank of England is offering zero-interest Business Loans for the time being, and county websites are collating their own sources on various organizations in the area offering loans and grants within their areas. Note that to apply for a Business Loan, you must have a business bank account for your trade or company.

Tags: Corona Virus, Covid-19

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