Dear All,

Due to the announcements by the Chancellor in the past week I've decided to put the information I think is most relevant to my clients in a Newsletter.  However, not all of the information will apply to you. I hope you'll find it helpful. 

I will continue looking into whatever practical help is available and I will be here to assist you in any claims you are eligible to make.  

I am currently setting up Skype so that I keep in touch with clients who are self-isolating or, like myself, are trying to adhere to government advice about social distancing!

I will contact you as soon as there are any further updates available.

Wages cover for businesses hit by virus outlined

The government is to pay 80% of wages for employees not working, up to £2,500 a month.  I will be looking into this to see who is eligible and how to claim.  The information at present isn’t clear.


If you’re not able to work and are self-employed or not eligible for SSP

If you are not eligible for SSP – for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can now, more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, (if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home).


Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The government will introduce 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

How to access the scheme

You don’t need do anything. This will be done automatically by the local authority.  However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.


Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.


You are eligible if:

your business is based in England

you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR

you are a business that occupies commercial property

How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.  Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.


Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

The government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. VAT Returns will still be required to be submitted by the due date.  If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.


For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.  Any tax deferred during this period will be payable 31st March 2021.


All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.


If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How to access the scheme

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.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards, and stay safe,


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Robin Low
Accountant | Robin J. Low Accountancy Services
p: 0800 9700 427
27 Fountains Close, Washington
Tyne and Wear, NE38 7TA
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