Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support businesses and individuals through the Coronavirus pandemic. On 20 March as part of these efforts the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This funding will be open to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, including charities. Employers can apply for grants of 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage, provided they keep the worker employed. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020, if applicable.

HMRC have been working night and day to develop this scheme, and we can now confirm that we have been able to publish further details of the scheme on GOV‌.UK. We are aiming to have the scheme up and running by the end of April 2020. More detailed guidance will be published in due course and please be assured we will advise you when the scheme is open.

HMRC are trying to get the link for the claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme up and running for the end of April.

Follow this link for more information:

More information for Employees can be found here:

Please do get in touch by email if you require any assistance.

CoronaVirus COVID 19 – SSP and Self Isolation

As you may be aware the public have been asked to self isolate for 14 days if they or any of their household have the symptoms of COVID-19, if your employees are self-isolating because of COVID-19: From 13 March, you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people self-isolating in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.

When does SSP apply?

The government is legislating for SSP to be paid from day 1, rather than day 4, of the absence from work if you are absent from work due to sickness or need to self-isolate caused by COVID-19. Once the legislation has been passed, this will apply retrospectively from 13 March.

Do I need a sick note?

From Friday 20 March onwards, those who have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain an “isolation note” by visiting NHS 111 online and completing an online form, rather than visiting a doctor. For COVID-19 cases this replaces the usual need to provide a “fit note” after seven days of sickness absence. As yet this form is not available but as an employer you will need confirmation from the employee that they are off due to COVID-19.

How much SSP is paid?

SSP is paid at the rate of £94.25 per week and is recoverable in this instance from HMRC, usually by offset against other PAYE/NIC deducted from the individual/other employees.


Can I pay more than SSP?

Yes you can still pay above SSP if you choose or are contractually obliged.


What happens at the end of the 2 week period if the employee is still off sick?

Currently normal SSP rules will apply where a fit note from the doctor will be required.

If you have any further queries on payroll matters, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Client Support during COV-19

The support for business provided by the government can be found here

  • Businesses with less than 250 employees will be able to get a refund of SSP per eligible employee for upto 2 weeks as a result of Covid19.
  • Businesses rate relief for this that get a retail discount will be rebilled by their local authority
  • £25k grant to retail, hospitality and leisure business operating from premise with a rateable value £15-£51k. This is accessed from the local authority – guidance to be published 20 March
  • Business that are eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief will get a one-off grant of £10k. There is no need to apply your local authority will contact businesses. Guidance to be published shortly but funding is likely in early April.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be launched next week.  Govt is guaranteeing 80% of each loan .  First 6 months interest free.  The  new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million.  Details from high street banks can be found here:












  • Any problems with paying tax should be dealt with through HMRCs Time to Pay Service
  • Businesses affected by being ordered to close by the government should be able to make an insurance claim on their business interruption insurance. Businesses need to check their T&Cs. However most businesses are unlikely to be covered as it may exclude pandemics.
  • A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Please do contact us if you would like assistance with Cashflow forecasts or other such analysis.

Bank help

The big banks have announced they want to offer full support for small businesses during the crisis – each has set up dedicated advice services.

If you or your business has financial problems, the best advice is to contact your bank as early as possible – they are likely to be besieged with similar requests, so the earlier you speak to your bank the better.

Some banks are offering mortgage holidays, others may increase your overdraft facility or loan facility during this period.  We would advise you to check the repayment and interest terms before entering into any such agreements.

Find more information at:









Unfortunately, Coronavirus does not realise that companies still need to carry on, meet deadlines and submission dates.  Please feel free to contact us with any of your issues or information in the normal way.

The office will be manned each day – but do feel free to ring 01483 539777 to check before your visit.

Please carry on emailing and telephoning us where someone will be able to help you and contact the correct person for you.



HMRC time limits extended

From 2019, offshore matters could be raised by HMRC 12 years afterwards, even if the taxpayer has made an innocent error.


Taxpayer behaviour    Earliest tax year caught    ordinary assessment time limit    Extended Offshore time limit

Reasonable Care taken      2015-2016                        Four years, ie to 5 April 2020                 12 years, ie to 5 April 2028

Carelessness                        2013-2014                        Six years. ie to 5 April 2020                     12 years ie to 5 April 2026


Currently, the time limit for HMRC to make an assessment to income tax and capital gains tax is four years if the taxpayer took reasonable care. This is from the end of the tax year.  (six years for careless behaviour and twenty years for deliberate behaviour).

It is important to note:

  • it applies to income and capital gains tax and to inheritance tax;
  • personal representatives are excluded from the changes, with the time limits in TMA 1970, s40 continuing to apply;
  • the extension will not be made for corporation tax;
  • the draft legislation prohibits an assessment being raised to the extent that lost tax arises due to transfer pricing adjustments; and
  • the extended time limit will not apply if, through receipt of information by way of automatic exchange arrangements, it was reasonable to expect HMRC to be aware of and have assessed the lost tax before the end of the normal time limit.

Taxpayers and their advisors must keep adequate records to defend their position should HMRC seek to raise an assessment.  However, the law is not being amended to require taxpayers to keep records for the extended limit.  It should be noted that failure to do so could leave the taxpayer struggling to defend a later assessment.

We would advise all out clients with offshore interests to keep records for the full 12 years.

If you would like to talk to someone about this more, or need addition advise, please contact us at

MTD (Making Tax Digital)

Or otherwise known as ‘Making Tax Difficult’.

MTD comes into effect as of April 2019.  In HMRC’s recently published VAT Notice 700/22 Making Tax Digital for VAT it has become apparent that once registered for MTD companies are always registered for MTD even when they de-register from VAT.

In the Stakeholders communication pack clarity is found to the question: ‘What if my taxable VAT turnover is below the threshold?’ The answer states: ‘Businesses already have to check their turnover for the last 12 months at the end of each month so see if it exceeds the VAT threshold.  If it does then MTD applies from the first day of the following month.’

So as long as a business has sales of less than £85,000 for the 12 month period ending 31 March 2019 and every rolling 12 month period thereafter, they have no MTD worries.

The bad news is that is a VAT-registered business goes over the £85,000 threshold in any rolling 12 month period after April 2019, even if only temporarily, then it must join MTD and cannot withdraw if turnover subsequently falls below the threshold.  So once you are in, you have to stay.

Contact us at is you need more assistance, or advice, with regards to MTD.

2019 Loan charge legislation – deadline 30 September 2018

  • The 5 April loan charge will apply to third-party employment loans made since 6 April 1999
  • Details may have been reported to HMRC even if the loans have been repaid
  • There are other options: settle with HMRC before 5 April 2019 or repay the loans
  • HMRC must be approached with information before 30 September 2018 if settlement is sought before the loan charge applies

Contact us immediately if you need assistance with the above.  There is still two weeks to approach HMRC

The legislation requires an individual (or related party) who borrowed from an EBT (employee benefit trust, or similar) to repay funds before 5 April 2019.  Failure to do so will trigger income tax and National Insurance liabilities.  The loan charge rules now form part of the disguised remuneration rules.

While the disguised remuneration rules seek to apply to an action, the loan charge rules focus on a failure to take action, such as a failure to repay.  In this sense, companies, individuals, trustees and advisors should be aware that a lack of action or pretending not to notice cannot provide a means of escape from the income tax and National Insurance charge.