Here are the headlines from the Chancellors statement (Winter Economy Plan) in Parliament today (24/09/20) where a series of schemes and measures to help jobs and businesses were announced.
- New Job Support Scheme
- Self Employed Income Support Scheme
- VAT Cut for Hospitality Sector Continues
- Deferral of VAT Bills
- Self Assessment – Time To Pay Extension
- Bounce Back Loans – Flexibility of Payment Terms
Note that what we summarise here are just the headlines; more detailed and technical information will be released by the Government through over the coming weeks.
Further guidance will be issued in due course.
Therefore these are all subject to change.
NEW JOB SUPPORT SCHEME ANNOUNCED
The new scheme starting 1 November 2020 is to replace the current Job retention (“furlough”) scheme which ends 31 October 2020.
All small and medium-sized businesses are eligible, larger businesses must show their turnover has fallen during the pandemic. Employers can use the new scheme even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.
The new Government scheme will last for six months to 30 April 2021. To be eligible employees will need to be working a minimum of 33% of their hours.
For the remaining hours not worked the Government and employer will pay one third.of wages each.
• Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work – but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary.
• Employees who can only go back to work on shorter time will still be paid two thirds of the hours for those hours they can’t work.
• The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month.
As an example, an employee working 33% of their hours will receive at least 77% of their pay, 22% paid by the Government and 55% paid by their employer (the “worked” 33% plus 22%).
So for someone on £2,000 a month working 50% hours, they would get £1,000 normal pay plus £333 extra from their employer and £333 from the government.
SELF-EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME
The existing self-employed grant (SEISS) will also be extended on the same basis as the job support scheme.
An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus.
The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875.
An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April.
See guidance here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension
VAT CUT FOR HOSPITALITY SECTOR CONTINUES
The reduction in VAT to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sector will be extended until 31 March 2021.
DEFERRAL OF VAT BILLS
Up to half a million businesses who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in smaller instalments.
Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.
This relates to the deferred VAT payments which were due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
SELF-ASSESSMENT TAXPAYERS – TIME TO PAY EXTENSION
Approximately 11 million self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility.
This means payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.
Those with tax debt of up to £30,000 will be able to go online, if they are finding it difficult to pay, to set up a payment plan over 12 months to January 2022.
Those with higher tax liabilities will need to call HMRC by phone directly to set up a payment plan.
BOUNCE BACK LOANS – FLEXIBILITY GIVEN TO PAY BACK AMOUNTS BORROWED
More than a million businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will get more repayment time through a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system.
This includes extending the length of the loan from 6 years to 10, which will cut monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses.
The Government also intends to give Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL) lenders the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of 6 to 10 years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.
The chancellor also announced an extension in applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes until the end of November.