Help with business rates
The government have introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Self-catering accommodation will benefit from the relief.
You will not need to apply for the relief. Your local authority will apply the relief automatically. Those owners who have already received the 2020/21 business rates charge should expect to receive a replacement bill excluding the charge shortly.
You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.
Further guidance for local authorities is available in the expanded retail discount guidance.
Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
The government have introduced the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme, which provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
Self-catering accommodation with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will be entitled to receive a grant of £25,000. Those with a rateable value below £15,000 will be entitled to receive a grant of £10,000.
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to your local authority.
Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
All UK businesses will be able to defer Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.
HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch this week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.
The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
The scheme will be available from 23 March.
For all information please go to the government website.