The Chancellor announced COVID-19 support measures and tax assistance in the Budget on 11 March and further measures on 17 and 20 March in response to the novel COVID-19 virus.

We have produced the summary below to help businesses manage their tax affairs during the COVID-19 outbreak. We will update this summary as and when further information is available.

VAT

VAT payments are deferred for 3 months. 

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

See here for further information.

 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

See here for further information.

Corporation Tax and PAYE/NIC

No relaxation on tax filing deadlines has been announced.

Businesses should try to meet their tax compliance obligations to avoid penalties.

Where it is not going to be possible for a business to meet its tax compliance obligations, it may consider applying for relief from penalties under the Time to Pay regime.

HMRC have scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

See here for further information.

Statutory sick pay (SSP)

The Chancellor announced a reimbursement to employers with less than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020) for up to two weeks’ SSP for each employee absent due to self-isolation as a result of COVID-19.

See here for further information.

Property

Business Rates Retail Discount of 100% applies for 2020/21 to properties used for the majority of retail, leisure and hospitality businesses.

No rateable value cap applies to the relief.

There are to be cash grants for certain retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

See here for further information.

There is also to be support for businesses that pay little or no business rates.

See here for further information.

Financial support

Two Government-backed and guaranteed loan scheme will provide £330bn of finance to help businesses in these uncertain times.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: delivered by the British Business Bank, enabling businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of (now) up to £5 million, with the UK Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees.

Covid Commercial Finance Facility: available to larger businesses, the Bank of England will acquire commercial paper from eligible businesses.