Business Interruption Insurance Ruling

Many of you might have already seen late last week; as we hinted in a newsletter towards the back end of 2020, that the Supreme Court found largely in favour of small firms receiving payments from business interruption insurance policies.

It is suggested that insurance companies will contact those companies impacted by this ruling but we also suggest that should you have any doubts whatsoever then you too contact your insurance company directly.

For a more detailed review of the ruling click here for the BBC news article following the events of last week.

National Lockdown Financial Support

As expected a financial support package has today been unveiled and we would assume; though cannot say for certain, there may be more support on the way.

In summary, there is 

  • one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
  • £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
  • comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme

For more detailed guidance this can be accessed here.

National Lockdown Support

Yesterday the Scottish and English governments announced national lockdowns with schools being closed. The net result being all of England and Scotland must stay at home except for a handful of permitted reasons.
 
We’re not going to go over the full announcement but more details about this can be found here if you wish to seek clarification.
 
Instead, we wish to focus on what we know thus far in terms of support and how we will be adapting to support you.
 
Help for businesses
No extra help, beyond what was announced before Christmas, has been announced for businesses who either cannot trade or have their trade severely disrupted. But this still means there are grants available from your local authority if you have been forced to close. And the furlough and self-employed grant schemes are still running across Jan to April 2021.
 
What does this mean for you and your business?

  1. Find out whether these lockdown announcements mean you can trade for the next 6-7 weeks though internally we recommend you look to the end of February given the time lags repeatedly being mentioned with respect to these measures and the vaccines.
  2. Review your resourcing requirements but also how many of your staff will now have childcare duties.
  3. Rethink your business plan, cash flow plan and also revisit your contingency plans

How we will be helping you through these times?

  1. All our team will be working tirelessly as they have already and there will be no break in support from our end so we will be here for you as we have from the start.
  2. We will continue to monitor updates and share these with you as soon as feasibly possible to assist you through these times.
  3. We will be running two drop-in sessions every week for the duration of this lockdown just for you to have a chat and we can run through anything you wish to alongside other business owners from:
    1. 5pm until 6pm every Tuesday (jump on here as the link will be the same each week); and
    2. 8am until 9am every Thursday (jump on here as the link will be the same each week).

Of course, if there is a growing need in any particular areas, we will address this as we did the first time round and look to assist where we can.

Also, please note that regardless of any extension with regards to the self-assessment filing deadline we will continue to work towards getting all tax returns submitted by 31 January 2021 for those that submitted their information on time to us as we see any delay as just being moving the problem.

Summary
We have been here before and stood alongside you and are still alongside you today in order to help you the best we can come out the other side.

Let us work together and stick together and never forget the mental health strain of this all so if you ever need to talk please reach out to us and we will be there for you and that includes calling the team or me on my mobile number if you need to.

The Chancellor extended the support

The Chancellor extended the support available once again there yesterday which further reinforces the fact that the battle against COVID-19 is still far from being over and based on his extended timescales it would be reasonable to expect at least some form of disruption into April/May and most likely for at least the first 6 months of next year though there are plenty of positives signs.  

The three key announcements yesterday were:

  1. the extension of furlough payments to 30 April 2021
  2. businesses will now have until 31 March 2021 to access the Government-backed loan schemes
  3. the budget announcement will be on 3 March 2021 whereby further support packages are expected to be announced including there being mention of new loan schemes that will replace the current Government-backed loan schemes

For the full release and to read more please click here.

Lockdown 2 Government Support Summary

This email takes you through the announcements and what it means for your business.

On the one hand it is great to see the government making available this help. But this probably means we will see fairly strict lockdown conditions between now and March 2021. We hope we are wrong about this, but in your contingency/scenario planning, particularly in regard to cash, please extend this 4-week lockdown until the end of March. If you need help with your business planning, please get in touch.

Here are the full details from the Government’s announcement.

The Self-Employed Income Scheme
On 30th November you will be able to claim a grant for up to 80% of your profits, to cover you for Nov – Jan 2021. This is capped at £7,500. They also declared there will be one more grant which will cover the period Feb – Apr 2021. Details are yet unknown of when this will be paid or for how much.

To receive these grants, you need to have received the previous grants and it is currently anticipated that this portal will open towards the end of this month.

The ‘Furlough scheme’
This has now been extended to the end of March. Which in effect means that we are unlikely to see the Job Support Scheme operational… You can Furlough any member of staff, as long as they were on the payroll before Oct 30th 2020. And the government will pay up to 80% of their wages, capped at £2,500 per month.

As a result of extending the Furlough scheme the planned Jan 2021 ‘Job retention bonus’ of £1,000 for any employee you Furloughed who you still employed has been deferred. Until when? Who knows?

Help with cash flow
If you haven’t taken a Bounce Back Loan or didn’t take the maximum amount available to you, you can now top this up. And you will be able to take out a CBIL or Bounce Back Loan now until the end of Jan 2021.

Mortgage payment holidays for those who haven’t taken a payment holiday will be available for 6 months, without this being noted on their credit files.

As with everything these days the above is all subject to change but this looks like what we will be working with for the weeks ahead as a minimum.

Additional grants???

There are meant to be more local authority grants coming but more details are yet to be released and these may be discretionary rather than automatic but watch out for updates from respective local authorities over the coming weeks and hopefully within the next 10 days or so.

We have also got a fantastic link below to what grants you could perhaps access but which are not so widely known which can be accessed here so please feel free to follow this link here to see what you could access.

Some inside information perhaps?

We have heard on the grapevine; though not confirmed, the following:

  1. The Government are allegedly working on a new support package which is currently going through the EFG and may mirror the current CBILs scheme but be more easily accessible but please note whilst we have heard this on good authority this is not guaranteed.
  2. Following on from the above the second BBL opportunity for some; it is widely known that the first bounce back loan was never intended to cover the lengthy period of uncertainty that we now face.  There are also now rumours of a second bounce back loan opportunity exceeding the original 25% of turnover/£50k limited to reflect the increased term that the original loan was never designed to cover.

Watch this space but we thought we would share these with you as they came from a source well connected within the Bank of England.

Lockdown 2 Update (Kind Of)

As promised we thought we would get another newsletter out following the weekend’s announcement.

There are a lot of rumours circulating though including uplifts in the claims that can be made by the self-employed, proposed extension of applications for the bounce back loans and CBILs loans to 31 January 2021 AND also allegedly a second opportunity to go and get an uplift in any bounce back loans you had previously accessed if you never utilised your full allocation first time round.

There is so much information circulating online at the minute and a lot in the small print that has either been missed or yet to be finalised.

We will provide you all with a more comprehensive and clearer update once everything has been signed off in Parliament which none of it has yet but this may not come until the end of this week or early next hence us providing this update now and hopefully some positive news in the pipeline for some extra support.

As ever we as a team are here for you and if you want to reach out and chat please feel free to call your client account manager.

Another lockdown – we are here to support you

So we had unscheduled announcement from Boris tonight so we thought it right that we should get this newsletter out straight away.

As with the first lockdown, the first thing we urge is calm.

If you do urgently want to talk though and are feeling overwhelmed  lost and just a range of emotions and want a friendly ear to bend, I am opening my diary fully tomorrow even though it is a Sunday during these unprecenteded times.

To book something in the diary just follow the link below:

https://calendly.com/graemetennick/15min

The details that have been announced are still to go through Parliament on Wednesday but even prior to that we as usual will expect more details behind the headlines to filter through over the next few days which naturally will filter through the press but we will follow this newsletter up with another once known.

One of the key financial headlines was the extension of the furlough scheme but again more details are to follow.

Job Support Scheme Update

This may have crept under the radar for some last week but there was a subtle very positive tweak by Rishi Sunek in an announcement last week that we wanted to highlight.

The Job Support Scheme; as you all know, comes in from 1 November to replace the current furlough scheme and will run for six months.

The change is that the minimum hours required for employees to work has dropped from 33% to 20% and the employer contribution for non-worked hours has dropped from 1/3 to 5%.

The full and updated summarised factsheet can be found here along with the eligibility criteria and we have attached the more detailed guidance here also.

Government's Winter support package

Additional Government Support Announcement – Further Update

Further Update on Government’s Winter Support Package

As is commonly the case further information has filtered through from the Government’s Winter support package and the two key areas; in additional to those already highlighted are what we are going to cover in this newsletter.

Self-assessment help

Self Assessment customers can now apply online to spread the cost of their tax bill into monthly payments without the need to contact HMRC.

The online self-serve ‘Time to Pay’ service, has been increased to £30,000 for Self Assessment customers, to help ease any potential financial burden they may be experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Once you’ve completed your tax return for the 2019-20 tax year, you can use the online self-serve ‘Time to Pay’ service through GOV.UK to set up a direct debit and pay any tax that is owed in monthly instalments, up to a 12-month period.

If you wish to set up your own self-serve ‘Time to Pay’, you must meet the following requirements:

  • no outstanding tax returns
  • no other tax debts
  • no other HMRC payments set up
  • your Self Assessment tax bill is between £32 and £30,000
  • it is no more than 60 days since the tax was due for payment.

If you do not meet these requirements, you might still qualify for Time to Pay, but you will need to call HMRC to set this up.

If you set up a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement, you will have to pay interest on the tax paid late. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

Further VAT help

The Chancellor has also now announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period.

Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022.

Those that can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021.

External Virtual Client Events

In addition to our event being held on the 1 October we are delighted to share and invite you all to two further events that are detailed below:

Friday 9 October at 2pm
Is your business your pension?
To book click here

Thursday 8 October at 3pm
Why financial planning is important
To book click here

These are events are kindly being ran by our partners at St James’s Place so please feel free to book on directly or if you have any queries regarding either of these events then please just let us know again using the funding@gtaccountants.com e-mail address.

Surviving Another Lockdown (Partial Or Full)

A further lockdown

As we enter another state of lockdown in some shape of form; depending on what part and in which country you currently operate out of, we must stick together and that is the theme of our final newsletter for September.

We are going to focus on the positive support out there that we suggest you take advantage of so that we keep fighting, take the positives from the challenges faced and those that lie ahead whilst also recognising the strain it puts on us all so reach out for help where necessary.

We do however also appreciate that everybody is probably in a state of feeling overwhelmed to some extent hence we have focused on a handful of key areas this month to help you overcome this.

Cash flow support

Whilst we are uncertain as to what additional support there may or may not be from the Government we can realistically expect greater difficulty when it comes to collecting debt.

We have subsequently established a creditors services alongside an independent third party offering to support businesses in need that will not only do some digging around amounts you are concerned about receiving but will also chase these for you.

This initial exercise is absolutely free and from the cases we have seen so far; as this is handled externally to ourselves, a client recently received over £3,000 that they have previously written off and it cost them little more than £200 that was only taken upon successful collection of the debt.

If this is a concern for you, have any queries and/or just wish to discuss this further register your interest by e-mailing us at funding@gtaccountants.com

Group Event (Virtual I’m afraid)

Whilst we did initially hope some time soon we could commence face to face meetings and have this event as being a physical one we have had to think again but we won’t let it hold us back entirely.

In addition to the online community platform that we have established with Futrli Peer and for which you can access for no charge through this link here to chat with other business owners and get some tips, we are also doing more.

We as a firm will be the lead for Enterprise Nation where we bring business owners together through Zoom but this will be a great opportunity to just let off some steam and take away some great content and advice.

There is no charge for attending and the first virtual event is on 1 October from midday for an hour so if this of interest then why not book through the link here.

Going forward we are hoping to make this a monthly event and get some guest speakers along with hopefully some special offers from partners.  We will also keep those who attend aware of funding pots as these are shared with us in addition to sharing these with you by way of our newsletters.

External Virtual Client Events

In addition to our event being held on the 1 October we are delighted to share and invite you all to two further events that are detailed below:

Friday 9 October at 2pm
Is your business your pension?
To book click here

Thursday 8 October at 3pm
Why financial planning is important
To book click here

These are events are kindly being ran by our partners at St James’s Place so please feel free to book on directly or if you have any queries regarding either of these events then please just let us know again using the funding@gtaccountants.com e-mail address.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you build your business legacy

If you are looking to shape your businesses future through a strategic approach to accountancy we’d love to hear from you.