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Covid-19 Government Updates

We wanted to share with you and keep you up to date on any Government changes and what they may mean for you or how they may benefit you. We have outlined below updates on the Coronavirus Retention Scheme along with further announcements regarding VAT and other taxes, and how these changes may help you moving forward.

Coronavirus Retention Scheme

The government has announced an emergency grant to pay employee wages.

Who is eligible?
All UK businesses operating a PAYE scheme – (small or large, charitable or non-profit – will be eligible for the scheme).
This covers:

  • 80% of wages for any staff you retain but who can’t work because of COVID-19.
  • A maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month.
  • Back dated to 1st March 2020.
  • As much as three months, until otherwise advised.

The employers will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify the employees of this change.
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal. (HMRC will set out further details on the information required as soon as possible).

What are furloughed workers?

In this case that means anyone asked to stop working during the coronavirus pandemic but not made redundant. (so still on the payroll system).
HMRC are working urgently to set up the system for reimbursement. We will provide an update as soon as this is in operation.

We are currently waiting confirmation but hope to be able to update HMRC regarding furloughed workers on our clients behalf where we provide payroll services.


HMRC have advised that any VAT payable from 20th March to 30th June 20 is deferred until the end of the 20/21 tax year. This is an automatic offer and so no applications are required. However, you will still need to submit your VAT returns on time.  Any VAT refunds due should still be repaid back during this time.

If you do still wish to pay your VAT bill, you are still able do so.  We are currently waiting to see if you have to cancel your direct debit payment, or whether HMRC can put a stop on them if you have direct debit set up.


HMRC have also announced they are deferring the payments on account payable in July 2020 to January 2021. Again, this is an automatic offer so no applications needed, and any interest/late payment penalties will not be charged.


Support for Businesses that pay Business rates

The Government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:
    • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme:

Again, this is an automatic offer so no applications needed. Local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

Three month mortgage holiday:

Homeowners and landlords can now apply for a three-month mortgage holiday by contacting their lenders. The Government have introduced this opportunity to help ease the stresses that borrowers are experiencing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The 3 month holiday is only a pause in payments and you will still be required to pay the money at some point. The payment holiday is available to all homeowners who are up to date on their mortgage payments and to buy-to-let landlords whose tenants have been financially affected by the coronavirus.

Landlords who take payment holidays are expected to pass on this relief to their tenants. Homeowners who are in arrears on their mortgage should contact their lender, who will review any changes to their circumstances and discuss their options.


Other Taxes (PAYE, Corporation-Tax)

If you have any questions, our team are available at


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Posted in: Covid-19 Updates