A few Coronavirus – related financial updates from the government

Tax Credits

The government has confirmed that people who can’t work their normal hours because of coronavirus (COVID-19) will still receive their usual tax credits payments.

Those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed.

These customers do not need to contact HMRC about this change. We will treat customers as working their normal hours until the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme close, even if they are not using either scheme.

We’ll use the information we hold about the number of hours they normally work.

Customers can still report any other changes in income, childcare and hours in the normal way. However, they must tell us if they or their partner lose their job, are made redundant or cease trading.

Customers can continue to claim Working Tax Credit and be treated as though they are working their normal hours, but they should check GOV.UK to see if additional or alternative support is available based on their personal and financial circumstances.

 

Bounce back loans launch today

  • small businesses will be able to apply for quick and easy-to-access loans from today
  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the cash arriving within days
  • loans will be 100% government-backed for lenders, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

From 9 am this morning, small business owners can apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form, with only seven questions.

The government has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. And any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to this generous new scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is the latest step in a package of world-leading support measures launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak – with £7.5 billion already awarded in business grants, 4 million jobs supported through the job retention scheme and generous tax deferrals supporting hundreds of thousands of firms. To apply, see further information about the Bounce Back Loan scheme.

 

Self-employed claims for Coronavirus support

From today (Monday 4 May), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.

In order to receive quick confirmation from the eligibility checker, individuals should:

  • have their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and their National Insurance Number to hand
  • make sure their details are up-to-date in their Government Gateway account

Once the online check is complete, eligible customers will be given a date when they can submit their claim. They will also be encouraged to update their contact details.

Claims service opening shortly

The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. This will help millions of self-employed people, covering a wide range of industries and jobs, whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the coronavirus.

The claims process will be very simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim.

Who’s eligible

Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and they:

  • earn at least half of their income through self-employment
  • have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
  • traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return – and returns for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 where needed – to determine their eligibility and is contacting customers who may be eligible via email, text message or letter.

Wider government support

This scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where the government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

Where individuals are ineligible for the scheme, HMRC will direct people to guidance setting out the scheme conditions to help them understand why they are ineligible, and advise on other support available to them such as:

  • income tax deferrals
  • rental support
  • Universal Credit
  • access to mortgage holidays
  • various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during this time

 

 

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