We will update this page as soon as any new information becomes available……. (last updated 12.05.2020)

As the information is spasmodic, we cannot always guarantee it is completely accurate as information from the Government and HM Revenue & Customs is sometimes inconsistent.

However, we are doing our very best to make sure the information supplied is accurate to you at the present time.  

Due to the current Covid 19 situation, the majority of our staff are working from home. Please take this into consideration and email us with any queries you may have and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

PAYROLL QUERIES for RUGELEY OFFICE  These MUST be emailed to Jayne@wynniatt-huseyltd.com

PAYROLL QUERIES for UTTOXETER OFFICE – These MUST be emailed to Wages@wynniatt-huseyltd.com (where possible)

URGENT PHONE CALLS ONLY TO THE OFFICES – please respect this and be kind, we are dealing with a high volume of calls and we will do our best to answer queries as quickly as possible.

The situation is rapidly changing and we are working hard to absorb the new information being issued by the government. We appreciate that you will have many questions and we will be doing our best to answer them as more guidance is made available to us. In the meantime, please see the useful links below:

Per HMRC advice on 04 May 2020, agents will NOT be allowed to make a claim for Self Employed Income Support Relief on behalf of sole traders and partnerships. HMRC advise that in order to claim this, individuals will need their own HMRC Government gateway account and be registered for self assessment on the gateway.
If you need any help setting up a HMRC Government gateway account or making the claim, please contact us as a matter of urgency.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor has announced that there is a new Coronavirus Protection Scheme that is going to be set up in order to help pay employees wages. In order to qualify for this your employees will have to be unable to work due to the Coronavirus interrupting business. All the time that they have been unable to work due to Coronavirus, but they are continued to be paid by yourselves, you can claim up to 80% of workers wages costs. This is going to be capped to £2,500 per month and will be backdated from 1st March 2020.

It is currently being placed for only three months and then it will be reviewed and decided whether it can be carried on or not, this has now been extended until 30 June 2020.

The guidance currently says that while your employees remain to be furloughed then they have the rights to be normal employees and that you will pay them up to 80% of their wages which you can recoup. You do not have to pay the other difference and you could effectively only pay them 80% or you could pay the full amount and claim the 80% back from the Government. A furloughed employee is somebody unable to work due to the Coronavirus only and they are going to be retained by you once the Coronavirus has stopped and come back to full employment. We have had some questions from clients as to whether they can now start putting additional staff on the payroll but remember that the payroll is on an RTI scheme so the government will know that if you put somebody on the scheme and you suddenly lay them off that they will be instantly highlighted to any misappropriation of these provisions.

In order to register for this, you will have to put each of your individual employees on a new portal that HMRC is setting up. We do not know how long this is going to take or when the portal will be ready or what information you will have to put forward. We will obviously update you in this area when more information becomes available. It is unlikely that you will get any money from the Government until this portal is up and running and this might take a month or two. Please be aware.

If your reducing your staffs pay, working hours or laying them off completely this right must be in place within their contract of employment.

If the contract of employment does not provide for this, any alterations in your employees’ rights needs to be made by mutual agreement.  Keeping evidence of this is essential.

Further advice was published by HMRC on 26 March 2020:

a) The scheme is only open to employers who registered for a PAYE Scheme on or before 28 February 2020.
Per HMRC legislation announced on 15 April 2020, the eligibility date has been extended to 19 March 2020.  Information we have seen from HMRC seems to indicate that they will be paying out the claims within 6 working days, whereas experts we have spoken too do not believe payments will be made until June 2020

b) Open to all employers, including Charities, Recruitment Agencies, Public Authorities and trading businesses, providing their employees are on the PAYE system before 28 February         2020.

As per HMRC update on 17 April 2020, where employers continue to receive public funding (such as early school nurseries) or receive public funding to provide necessary services to      respond to Coronavirus, they will not be allowed to reclaim furlough pay for staff.

c) All employees can be included provided they are not carrying out any duties, and include full time, part time, agency contracts, flexible and zero hour contacts.

d) If the employee has been employed for a full twelve months, you can claim the higher of the same month’s earnings from the previous year, or the average monthly earning from the       2020 tax year.

If the employee has been employed for less than a year, you must average their monthly earnings since they started.

If the employees started in February 2020 use this salary, pro-rata if necessary.

e) Actual salaries before tax should be used to calculate the 80%, and not include fees, commissions or bonuses.

f) HMRC will reimburse the employees the 80% furloughed pay plus employers NIC and employers auto-enrollment pension contributions (but only the minimum rate of 3%).

g) Individuals are only entitled to the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage for the hours they are working.

Furloughed workers must be paid 80% of their salary or £2,500, even if based on usual working hours it will be below the minimum statutory limits.

Per the HMRC website, any employees placed on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough.
Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks.

Employees must be notified of their furlough status in writing and a record of this must be kept for 5 years.

If you or your employee has more than one job, then they can be furloughed in job and receive a furloughed payment but continue working for someone else and receive their normal wages.

For company directors to be eligible, they should not do work of any kind they would normally carry out in order to generate income or provide services to or on behalf of their company. They can however carry out their statutory duties and obligations as company directors.

Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees (at the request of the employer) then they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for the time they have spent training. Employees will need to pay the additional wages in excess of the furlough payments for this time spend training.

Claims to HMRC should be started from the date that the employee finishes work and starts furlough, not when the decision is date, or when they have written to confirm their furlough status.

When calculating salaries, they should not include the cost of any non-monetary benefits provided to employees (such as company cars) or any salary sacrifice schemes (such as pensions)

Apprenticeship Levy and Student Loan payments should continue to be paid as normal, and the grant will not reimburse for these.

In order to claim, we will need the following information
• Your ePAYE reference number
• The number of employees being furloughed
• The claim period (start and end date)
• Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
• Your bank account number and sort code
• Your contact name
• Your phone number
PLEASE DO NOT SEND US THIS INFORMATION YET AS THE HMRC PORTAL IS NOT OPEN, SIMPLY GET IT READY AND WE WILL CONTACT YOU WHEN WE NEED IT

We have received information from HMRC that they anticipate that the portal for reclaiming furlough pay will be ready to launch from 20 April 2020.
However, they have stated that only agents with authority will be allowed to make a claim on behalf of employers. Therefore we are reviewing who we have and who we have not got PAYE authorisation for with HMRC.

If you receive an activation code through the post from HMRC, please can you forward this to us as soon as possible

Laying Employees off

If you decide to lay employees off as you have no work for them you are entitled to do this and you must go back to your contract of employment. Providing the contract allows you to lay people off then you are allowed to lay people off for an indefinite period but you are entitled to pay them £29 a day for the first five days of lay off in any three-month period. After that, you are not required to pay them any more monies, but the staff can ask for redundancy or layoff after one month. If you do lay your staff off then you will not obviously qualify for the new provisions above.

Income Support

If you are laying your staff off without pay or you are a self-employed person then you can apply to the Government for Universal Credits. We are not quite sure of the amounts of these and as they are means-tested you will be asked for all of your income and expenditure in order to qualify for this.

Sick Pay

If your employees or yourselves contract the virus then you will be entitled to claim sick pay. This sick pay under normal guidance from HMRC and our payroll department will be able to work out what sick pay your entitled to pay your employee.

Currently, you can now reclaim this sick pay which we can do for you automatically from the Government only for employees that have contracted the virus. The legislation says that the sick pay is paid as long as the layoff is due to Coronavirus. This means that if people are quarantined because their family has the disease, they are able to claim.

The maximum period for the SSP reclaim will be two weeks.

In order to qualify for the reimbursement of sick pay by the government for your staff who have suffered from corona virus or been advised to self-isolate, they will be required to obtain an “isolation note”.

These can be obtained by completing this online form
https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

VAT

Any payment for VAT due on or after 20th March 2020 up to 30th June 2020 can now be deferred, with the expectation from HMRC being that any VAT payments deferred will all be caught up and paid in full by 31st March 2021. No information has come to say that we shouldn’t file your VAT returns on a timely basis so currently, we suggest that you carry on filing VAT returns and we will keep you informed if not

We suggest that you take the precaution if you are a direct debit payer and cancel the direct debits to stop the VAT from trying to take this money unless you would, of course, like them to.

Corporation Tax and PAYE

Currently, there is no suspension of these payments and they are still due in the normal process. There has not been anything come forward yet and we will watch this.

HMRC is running a ‘special time to pay number’ for people affected on Corona Virus and you can apply to them if you are experiencing difficulties due to the Coronavirus in paying your PAYE. The number that you require is 0800 0241222.

Submitting information

As far as we are aware all information currently required to be sent to the Government are still required to be filed on time. We have had confirmation that the companies tax returns and the accounts due at Companies House will have to be continued to be returned on time or penalties will be due. Please let us know if this is going to be difficult and we can probably find a way around it.

As far as all the other submission, VAT and PAYE, as far as we know they have got to be filed on time as normal.

Income tax

The second payment on account for all self-employed people and people that are paying dividend tax, which would normally be due on 31 July, has been suspended and it will be deferred until January 2021. Currently, there is no other help on this and do not forget that this will increase the 31 January 2021 liability and therefore you need to be careful with your cashflow.

IR35 for the Private Sector

The changes that were due to come in on 1 April 2020 have been suspended and this will now come into force from 1 April 2021. 

New legislation from HMRC is telling us that IR35 contractors working for public sector organisations through personal service companies (who are unable to work due to coronavirus) are now eligible for the 80% furlough job retention scheme providing their contracts are ongoing.

This applies to all contingent (or off payroll) workers within the public sector including
• PAYE
• Umbrella Companies
• Personal Service Companies

Business Rate Holidays

They have introduced a business rate holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. This is for the year starting 1st April 2020 and for the next twelve months. This will only be available for those people that received a retail discount for the 2019/2020 year and they will now be automatically re-billed by the local authorities as soon as it is possible.

Cash Grants for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

This scheme will be available for all those people that are paying a rates bill from between £15,000 and £51,000 and they will receive a grant of up to £25,000 a year. Anybody applying for this scheme again must be in the retail, hospitality or leisure businesses and the payment will come from the local council.

There is no action for you to do at the moment as we are told that the County Council will contact each business and provide you with grants that are available.

If you want to check whether the rate people believe that you are in the relevant area then contact your local rates office direct.

Support for Nursery Businesses that Pay Business Rates

Any nursery businesses registered in England for the 2020/2021 tax year will be eligible for a business rates holiday. They must have the following criteria:

  • Business registered in England.
  • Occupied by providers of Ofsteds early year register.
  • Mainly used for the provision of early years foundation stage.

There is no need to register for this as the councils will contact you directly.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rate

If your business pays business rates but you receive small business rate relief currently then you will be entitled to a grant. The grant will be a payment of up to £10,000 and will be eligible for all small businesses that meet the following criteria.

  • Businesses based in England.
  • You have small business rates and already receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
  • You are a business that occupies the property.

This scheme will also be paid by the council and they will contact you shortly to let you know how the scheme is going to work.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This is to help people raise money during the interruption of their business due to the Coronavirus.

The Government is providing support for businesses making applications for finance, loans, overdrafts, invoice financing or asset financing of up to £5 million and for up to six years. How the scheme will work is that the Government will cover the first twelve months of interest payments that any lender levies and fees for arranging the payment. It is currently only available to small businesses and is going to be used so people can pay lower initial payments. The Government will also provide lenders with a guarantee of up to 80% of each loan, therefore allowing the banks to have more security than is currently available. In order to be eligible you need to have the following criteria:

  • Your business is based in the UK and you have a turnover of less than £45 million per year.
  • Your business meets the British Business Bank Eligibility Criteria.

In order to access this, you will need to speak to your bank itself and they should have more details. We have been informed that the scheme has now been opened from the 23 March 2020.

Small business micro-loan scheme (bounce back loans)

It was announced on 28 April 2020 that a new loan was being agreed with banks to help small businesses hit by the Coronavirus to apply for up to £50000 (or 25% of business turnover).

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and will also cover the first 12 months worth of interest.

The scheme will open from 9am on Monday 04 May 2020 with the intention of loans being paid within 24 hours of approval. Businesses can apply directly from lenders and will need to complete a standard two page form.

Micro Business Emergency Grants

County Councils across the UK have recently announced there will be a micro business emergency grants for people and businesses who cannot get support from other government incentives that have already been announced. We believe the grants are up to £1000 and can be applied for though the County Councils website.
To qualify, businesses must be registered within the County of the Council they are claiming from, have less than 9 employees, cannot have claimed other government support and have an annual turnover of less than £2million a year
Disclaimer – This is based on guidelines from East Stafford Borough Council, other councils may have different qualifying criteria

Support for Large Firms

There is also support for larger firms and if anybody thinks they need any information on this then please contact us.

Mortgage and Rent Holidays

Tenants, as well as mortgage borrowers, can apply for a three-month payment holiday. The interest will continue to be charged on the amounts that they owe and the Government has announced that it is their intention that no-one will be evicted from their home as they will hopefully cover the funds. Currently, this only applies for the next three months.

This is all the details we have on this at the moment and we do not know how the scheme is to be operated and we will update when more information is available.

Key Numbers

Currently, apart from us, there is also information and helplines available as follows:

  • ACAS Coronavirus Support Help Line          0300 123 1100
  • HMRC Coronavirus Helpline                          0800 024 1222

Insurance

In order to claim on your insurance currently, you will need to have insurance cover on your businesses that cover both pandemics and Government ordered closures. If you want to check your insurance policy to find out if you are covered then you may be able to claim disruption from the Coronavirus. The insurance industry confirmed on 17th March 2020 that the advice to avoid pub, theatres, clubs etc. will be sufficient for those businesses to make a claim.

As all insurance policies differ you are best talking directly to your insurance broker.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC will provide a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2500 per month (for the next 3 months)

Eligible criteria –

  • Have submitted a self assessment tax return for 05 April 2019
  • You currently trade or did trade before the Coronavirus restrictions and you intend to continue trading in the future
  • You have lost trading profits due to Coronavirus
  • Profits must be less than £50000 (either based on 2018/19 figures or averaged over a 3 year period)
  • More than half of your income must come from a self employment trade (this disallows rental income trades)

HMRC have confirmed this grant will be paid directly into your bank account

You cannot apply for this grant at the moment, HMRC say they will contact you if they believe you to be eligible

Please note this does not apply to directors or shareholders of Limited companies.

Vat on PPE

The Treasury has announced that for the periods 01 May 2020 to 31 July 2020, any sales of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will be zero rated for VAT purposes.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant

There is an eligibility checker on HMRC website which allows individuals to see if they are eligible for the SEISS grant.

 

Wynniatt-Husey Limited’s Policy

We have currently dispersed most of our staff who will be working from home and we are operating a skeleton staff at each site, who are able to take telephone calls, emails, texts in the usual manner but obviously it may be slower responding.

All the offices are now closed and we will only accept people that have already made an appointment. We are trying to encourage people to talk to us on the telephone and we are operating a reserved system whereby you can book a telephone conversation if necessary.

Books and records can be dropped off at Rugeley and Uttoxeter, and each site has a box outside to enable you to put your books and records in, we are trying to encourage people to not come into our office if it can be avoided.

Current guidelines say that you should leave it in the sun for at least 3 hours before you pick it up.

Books and Records that you want to collect

Again, we do not want any direct contact between yourselves and us, and if we can leave your records outside in the container you can pick them up.

If you want to collect any books and records from us then please let us know and we will leave them outside in the box for you to be able to collect. Please give at least an hour’s notice prior to you arriving at the office to make sure we have the books and records available for you.