We would like to make you aware of a number of recent changes to the government’s coronavirus business support schemes.
Deadlines for Making Claim
All claims under the furlough scheme must now be made by the 14th day of the following month. This means 14th December for November claims, 14th January for December claims and so on. If we have not already received details of employees on furlough for November then we need to receive these details as soon as possible to ensure that the deadline of 14 December is met.
It is no longer possible to make furlough claims for periods prior to 31st October.
Employees Who are Leaving or Who are Being Made Redundant
From 1st December it is no longer possible to make a claim under the furlough scheme for an employee who is serving their notice period. This applies whether the employee is being made redundant, is retiring, or has resigned.
HMRC have stated that where employees are being made redundant, statutory redundancy pay and statutory notice pay are to be based on the employee’s normal earnings and not the reduced, furlough amount.
Details of Claims Being Made Public
For claims covering periods from 1st December 2020 HMRC will publish the following details for all claimants under the furlough scheme:
- The employer’s name
- An indication of the value of the claim within a banded range
- The company number for companies and LLPs
There will be 14 claim bands. Most business will fall in either £1-£10,000, £10,001-£25,000 or £25,001-£50,000.
Details of claimants will be published after the deadline for making claims, ie after 14 January for December claims. There are very limited grounds for exclusion from publication.
In addition, where furlough has been claimed in respect of an employee for a period after 1 December, HMRC will make details of the furlough claim available to the employee through their Personal Tax Account on “gov.uk”.
All clients need to be aware that their furlough claims will be in the public domain going forward. The government has stated that the publication is to be made as “part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims”.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme
A third grant is available to tax-payers who were eligible for the first and second grants. An individual does not have to have claimed either or both of the first two grants to be eligible for the third.
The eligibility for the earlier grants was based on submitted tax returns for 2018/19 and the third grant will be the same. HMRC will once again do the calculations and for those who are eligible, the third grant will be worth 80% of monthly income for the period from November to January. It will be capped at £7500.
Eligibility – significant reduction in profits
A new eligibility criteria has been added for the third grant and will significantly impact the number of self-employed individuals who are able to make a claim. To be eligible for the third grant, the business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021 and which the claimant reasonably believes will lead to a significant reduction in the business’s profits. Although the significant impact does not have to last for the full three months of the claim period, there must have been a significant impact over the quarter as a whole.
It would appear that the test for a “significant reduction” is relatively high. The test is likely to be met for retail or hospitality businesses which have been forced to close. However, businesses which have seen lesser disruption, for example needing to change suppliers, closing due to quarantine after a holiday, closing for a couple of days for a deep clean, or needing to buy masks, shields and hand sanitiser are not expected to meet the test. Claimants are required to retain evidence of the impact of coronavirus on the business.
HMRC have provided examples of “significant reduction” in guidance.
Deadlines for making claim
The claims service for the third grant is open. Claims must be made by 29th January 2021. HMRC have stated that claimants who are unsure whether their trading profits will be significantly reduced should wait until the position is clearer before making their claim.
In England, the government has previously announced grants for businesses which are forced to close.
Find out more about Grants for Closed Businesses
The grants are administered by local authorities and applications should be made via the local authority.
The government has announced a further £1000 grant for wet-led pubs in Tier 2 and 3 areas.
Find out more about Wet-led Pub Grants
Harts Webinar Series: Success in a Changing Landscape
We recently ran a series of seven fortnightly webinars to help keep your business agile, proactive and thriving in uncertain times. Each 45-minute sessions, hosted by Steven Glicher and guests, are designed to provide practical, really useful information and the opportunity to discuss any issues raised.
Visit our YouTube page to catch up on all the previous webinars in the series.
Cheadle Office is now Open
Our Cheadle office is now open with restricted hours, please contact us before visiting.
However, Macclesfield Office remains open normal hours.
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The team at Harts