Landlord helpful fact sheet: Part 3

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What help is available for business and the self-employed.

My tenant has a business and states he has major outgoings? What can help him?

He is entitled to claim for wages through the Coronavirus job retention scheme.

This is a very simple scheme to be able to claim up to 80% of all employees’ wages. He does not need to make the balance up to 100% so when it comes to employment cost, he should have no outgoings if he has furloughed his staff.

These Furlough payments include the national insurance, tax and pensions as well as commissions. He should therefore have no out goings in this regard. We have already mentioned before that you should always ask for full financial disclosure in this regard.

Paying his staff sick pay.

He is entitled to make claims in relation to sick pay. That was starting on or before the 30th March 2020 under the new Coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme. This will help him in relation to any cash flow he may have if his staff where sick just as the outbreak to place.

Can he defer his VAT payments?

If his business was registered for VAT and a VAT payment was due between the 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020 he has the option to do;

  1. Defer the payment to a later date.
  2. Pay the VAT as normal.

The HMRC have decided not to charge interest on penalties of any amount deferred.

VAT payments that they can defer?

They can only defer the following;

  1. Quarterly and monthly VAT return payment for the period ending February, March and April
  2. Payments on account due between 20th March 2020 – 30th June 2020
  3. Annual account advance payments made between 20th March 2020 – 30th June 2020

How deferring VAT affects payments on accounts.

If you defer a payment on account between 20th March 2020 – 30th June 2020 but the balance in payment is outside these dates, the amount you must pay is the balance less deferred payment. Deferred payments will not create a repayment.

If they chose to defer paying the VAT when do they have to make payment?

The government have been extremely helpful in allowing to help business. If they chose to defer the VAT payment as a result of Coronavirus, they must pay the VAT due on or before the 31st March 2020. They don’t even need to tell the HMRC that they are deferring the payment.

Will the VAT deferral be extended?

No one currently knows whether this will be extended beyond the current quarter. VAT payments that are due after the end of the deferral period will need to be paid as normal.

Can they get any other help on their VAT?

They are entitled to ask for a time to pay arrangements which are available to all business and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Coronavirus. Time to pay arrangements that started before the 20th March must still be paid. There is a link on the government website that allows them to request time to pay service.

Business rates relief.

Business in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the period 20/21 tax year.

What kind of shops are eligible?

They are eligible if they are;

  1. Shop
  2. Restaurant/café/ bar/pub
  3. Cinema or live music venue
  4. Assembly or leisure centre – for example, sports club, gym or spa
  5. Hospitality property, for example, hotel, guest house or self-catering accommodation

Do they need to apply?

No, they do not need to take any action. The local council will apply for discount automatically. If you do not think you are getting relief then they can contact the local council.

When will it apply?

The relief will apply to the business rates bill for 2020-2021 tax year. They may find that the local authority needs to re issue their rates bill.

Business support grant funding.

The government have given grants for small business and business in retail, hospitality and leisure sector. There are two types of grant, one being the small business grant fund, the other being the retail hospitality and leisure grant fund. These are administered by the local authority and they will be making payment.

How will the grants be provided?

The central government are providing funds to local authorities who are responsible for the business rate billings. It is the local authorities that will contact the eligible business to arrange repayment of the grant. If they have closed their shop and are not in communication with the local authority then they should do this immediately.

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

Under the small business grant all eligible businesses in England in receipt of either small business rate relief, or rural rate relief in the business rate system will be paid a grant of £10k.

Under the retail, hospitality and leisure grant all eligible business in England who are in receipt of the expanded retails discount which covers retail, hospitality and leisure with a rateable value of less than £51k will be eligible cash grant of wither £10k or £25k per property.

Eligible business in these sectors with a property at the rate of a value up to and including £15k will receive a grant of £10k.

Eligible business in these sectors with a property at the rate of a value up to of over £15k and less that £51k will receive a grant of £25k.

Eligible business in these sectors with a property at the rate of a value up to £51k or over are not eligible for this scheme.

How do they apply for this?

The local authority should contact them in this regard however, not every local authority is efficient as others.

It is therefore important that they apply online. There are two arears that they need to apply for, one will be the registration of the account. The second will then be the application itself applying to the local authority for the payment. They can then chase the council for payment.

They will then be made the payment direct into their bank account once it has been checked.

These are non-repayable and as such should improve their cash flow.

Can the self-employed apply for grants?

We have already laid out above the claims in relation to self-employed and they should start receiving their payments from June. They are in the interim entitled to claim for universal credit.

What is the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme?

This scheme helps small and medium size businesses to access loans and other kinds of finances up to 5 million.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays the interest and any fees for the first 12 month. If their business has a turnover of over £45 million then they would be entitled to other forms of support.

How will they know if they are eligible?

They can apply for a loan for their business if they are based in the UK, have an annual turnover of update £45 million, would be viable if it were not for the pandemic and have been adversely impacted by COVID – 19.

If they want to borrow £30k or more they will also need to confirm that the business wasn’t classed as a business in difficulty prior to the 31st December 2019.

How long are the loans for?

They natural length depends on the type of finance that they apply for. But up to 3 years for overdrafts and invoice finance felicities, up to 6 years for loans and assets finance. They can apply from over 50 different lenders. The government has a website that shows and states where they can find these loans.

They can apply for a COVID-19 future fund.

This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125k and £5 million to companies which are facing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It will be launched in May 2020 and the government will provide loans to UK based companies subject to, at least, equal match funding from private investors. There are convertible loans that may be suitable for business that rely on equity investment.

They can apply for a bounce back loan.

This scheme will help small or medium size business affects by COVID-19 to apply for loans for up to £50k. It will launch on 4th May 2020. The bounce back loan scheme will help small and medium size business borrow between £2k – £50k. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years, no repayments will be due for the first 12 month. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. This scheme will be delivered through a network or accredited lenders.

There are various instructions on the government website to show how to apply for these loans.

All of the above loans will have the ability to help the individual companies resolve any issues they may have.

This should help every business, if you tenant does have a problem they should be able to get some form of help.

We hope that they above is useful for you.

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