The new lockdown means many small businesses and self employed will have to close again or work from home.
It’s already been announced that the furlough scheme for funding employees who are fully or partly furloughed will continue until April 2021. The furlough claims are up to 80% of normal wages with a maximum of £2,500, with employers having to fund the employers NIC and employers pension contributions. Claims must now be made within 14 days of each month end.
For sole traders, the 3rd payment of the SEISS support scheme is now available to claim via your online personal tax account. Again, this is limited to 80% of past profits or £2,500 per month. Unfortunately, those excluded from earlier claims due to the 50:50 rule or breaching the £50k profits limit, or having started their self employment after 6/4/19 remain excluded, although mounting pressure is being put upon the Government to deal with these anomalies. The deadline for claiming the 3rd payment is 29 January 2021. It is now widely expected that there will be a 4th payment for February onwards, but no announcements have yet been made as to dates nor eligibility criteria.
There are also other grants available from your local authority, subject to eligibility criteria, many of which are discretionary, so we are seeing anomalies between different councils.
Due to the latest lockdown, there is a new “lockdown grant” for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries who have to close their business premises and can’t operate remotely. The grants vary between £4,000 to £9,000 dependant upon the business premises business rates rateable value.
If you are suffering cash flow issues due to Covid and are unable to pay your tax bills due by the end of January, you may be able to use the HMRC’s “time to pay” service.