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Self Employed

COVID 19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC’s online eligibility checker is now available. You can check your eligibility and obtain a date on which you can apply for the grant.

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

If the tool kit states you are eligible, you will need to have a Government Gateway account.  If you do not already have one, you will need to set one up now. 

HMRC will also be contacting individuals that they think may be entitled to claim for the grant from the week beginning 4 May. 

Unfortunately, we are not able to make the grant claim, but we can assist with the eligibility checker and any queries you may have.

Applications will be open on a staged basis from 13 May.

As you are aware the government have announced they will pay a taxable grant to eligible self-employed individuals, which will run for a minimum of three months.  Many of you will be interested to know how you can claim for this – the details are below. 

How to claim

  • You will need your Unique Tax Reference and National Insurance number ready.
  • If the tool kit states you are eligible, you will need to have a Government Gateway account.  If you do not already have one, you will need to set one up now. 
  • If the tool kit states you are not eligible, you can ask HMRC to review this decision if you think it is wrong.  
  • Unfortunately, as your agent, we cannot set up a Government Gateway account or make the grant claim for you, but we are here to help.
  • From updated guidance issued on 4th May 2020, HMRC will be contacting individuals they deem eligible by 13 May 2020. We would therefore recommend you use the tool kit to check eligibility and set up a Government Gateway account as soon as possible.
  • The grant will be paid straight into your bank account.
  • Payments will be backdated to March and paid in a lump sum in June.

Should you wish to look further into the scheme here is the link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

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Government Furlough Scheme Now Open…

You can now apply for furlough through the Government’s Coronavirus Retention Scheme at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

To make a claim, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amount you’re claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

  • your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
  • your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
  • your company registration number
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Update – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Eligibility date has been extended to 19 March 2020. Employers can claim for employees on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 where an RTI submission was made on or before 19 March 2020.
  • The scheme was initially for three months but has now been extended to the end of June.
  • Online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20‌‌ April 2020.
  • HMRC have said that claims will be paid within 6 working days.
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Our top 5 Furlough FAQ’s

How do you apply for the Job retentions scheme?

HMRC are launching their online portal on 20 April 2020.

You will need to be enrolled for PAYE online – this can take up to 10 days, if you are not already enrolled.

Agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, will be able to claim. This means that we can make the claim for you if we are your payroll agent.

Is the claim a loan or a grant?

This is a grant which employers do not need to pay back.

Can you furlough a sole director?

Yes, however a director must stay on to perform their statutory duties but may be furloughed in respect of their normal employment duties. They cannot start working to generate revenue but can handle on-going administration such as bookkeeping, tax filings and banking. These kinds of duties can be performed by a director in their statutory capacity.

Can employees go on and off furlough?

Employees must be furloughed for at least three weeks, so, employees can be moved in and out of furlough on a three week or longer basis. 

Does annual leave accrue whilst an employee is on furlough?

HMRC’s guidance does not expressly state that holiday is accrued. It does confirm that “Employees that have been furloughed have the same rights as they did previously” We have therefore received guidance that this indicates that furloughed employees will continue to accrue holiday.

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Businessman puts wooden blocks with the word Scam.

Beware scam HMRC emails and texts

Fraudsters are using coronavirus support measures to target individuals with bogus emails and texts claiming to be from HMRC.

HMRC will never ask you to disclose personal or financial information by email or text.

You can find out more information on known HMRC scams here. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples#coronavirus-covid-19-scams

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Revised CBILS proposal…

3 April 2020: Rishi Sunak has announced new support measures for businesses hit by the coronavirus crisis by bolstering business interruption loans for small businesses and announcing a new scheme for larger companies.

The Chancellor has announced the extension of the current Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, in a move aimed at combatting fears that small and medium-sized businesses may become insolvent accessing emergency funds. 

In a statement, the government said the move is intended to “maximise the support available” and means that all small businesses will now be eligible “should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time” – not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing.

New rules will prevent lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and the government has also stated that it will make operational changes to speed up lending approvals and continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees.

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