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Covid-19: Update from 15th April 2020

I heard myself telling a client on Friday that they shouldn’t be answering emails on a Bank Holiday Weekend, they wouldn’t normally, so shouldn’t do it just because they are now working from home. I reminded them that they had children and loved ones who needed their attention and that they needed some downtime too. So late Friday afternoon I took some of my own advice and I hope you too had some downtime, this situation we find ourselves in isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

So, what’s happening now?

Some local authorities have already paid out the £10,000 grant to small businesses. Have you registered your interest in receiving this grant with your local authority? It appears each local authority is doing things differently, some quickly, some slowly, some by phone, some by their website, some have written to their small business ratepayers, it’s all a bit of a mess getting this grant if you can is well worth the effort to help with cash flow.

To claim the furloughed taxable grant, it appears the system will run through your online account with HMRC for PAYE and that should be up on running on Monday 20th April.

I haven’t heard anything else about the grant for the self-employed, that still looks like it’ll be June.

The banks have had their knuckles rapped and they are starting to review the help they can give and make it more realistic in the way of interest rates and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

As I mentioned right at the beginning when this all kicked off that the main problem will be CASHFLOW or should I say lack of. It’s great that we can defer VAT & Self-assessment payments but what about your other HMRC liabilities? If you have any outstanding debts with HMRC then I urge you to contact the Time to Pay Scheme on 0800 0159 559 and talk to them. My top tip is to call first thing, later on during the day or on a Saturday, waiting times might be less and you might speak to a nicer breed of HMRC officials as the arrangements will be agreed on a case by case basis.

If you feel you are not being heard, rest assured you are not being ignored, people are fighting your corner. We must remember nothing like this has happened before and the Government is doing the best they can under the circumstances. For example, the Rt Hon Mel Stride MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchange, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP on the 8th April.

His letter says “the Treasury Committee has launched an inquiry into the economic impact of coronavirus. So far, the Committee has received over 16,000 responses from individuals, organisations, trade unions and business representation groups. We have published two summaries of the evidence that we have received. The first summary relates to evidence received between 20 and 26 March. The second summary relates to evidence received between 27 March and 2 April. The summaries highlight gaps in the Government’s schemes where people aren’t eligible for help. These gaps have been identified by those who have engaged with the Committee. The summaries also include proposals received by the Committee to ensure that individuals and businesses aren’t left behind.” There will be a virtual meeting on the 15th April, I will keep you informed if I hear any more.

Thank you, Stuart, for bringing the above to my attention.

Though we are not equal, we are all in it together



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