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Updated: Aug 27, 2020

On Friday 20 March the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government intend to provided further assistance for coping with the Covid 19 pandemic.

Assistance for Furloughed workers Where businesses cannot cover their staff costs due to Covid- 19 they may be able to claim a grant. This Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will apply to workers who are not working but whom the employer would like to keep on payroll. The grant is for up to 80% of salary costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The scheme will run form 1 March initially for 3 months but may be extended.

To claim the employer must advise the employee that they are ‘furloughed workers’. A new online portal at HMRC will be created where employers will be obliged to notify when employees have been furloughed.

Paying Tax All Personal Self Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 have been deferred until 31 January 2021. No interest or penalties will accrue. Where businesses and self-employed people have missed a tax payment or may miss a payment due to COVID-19, it may be able to agree deferments through HMRC’s Time To Pay Service. These arrangements need to be agreed on a case-by-case basis and are specific to individual circumstances and liabilities.

VAT VAT payments have been deferred for a period of 3 months, covering VAT return and payment deadlines of 7 April, 7 May and 7 June. Businesses will not need to make a payment during this period, and have until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by HMRC subject to normal timeframes and rules.

Business rates relief Business rates relief has been extended to 12 months for all eligible retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England. The relief will be applied by local authorities in the next council tax bill of April 2020.

Contacts If you would like to discuss anything further or any issue affecting your business the please do not hesitate to contact Anne Healy-McAdam Head of Tax ( or Byron McGarr Associate Director of BPO ( or your usual ACT contact.


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