Small businesses blocked out of bounce back loans scheme

Small businesses are struggling to access essential funding through a Government-backed loan scheme because lenders are blocking their applications. The Government-sponsored bounce back loans scheme was supposed to be a lifeline for businesses struggling to make it through the coronavirus pandemic, but reports suggest that many are struggling to get their hands on essential cash.

Five tips for starting a business during the coronavirus pandemic

With health concerns still prevalent and the economy looking shaky, it might not seem like the ideal time to start a new business.
Along with the uncertainty, however, has come lots of new opportunities. And many brave souls have used the outbreak to plan new ventures and have started working for themselves.
Here are five tips to help get your new business off the ground.

Could VAT and NI Cuts Boost Economy?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly drawing up plans for temporary tax cuts and other measures to help boost the British economy as it emerges from lockdown next month.

Facing a steep recession triggered by the coronavirus outbreak, which could involve high numbers of job losses and business failures, the Chancellor is searching for ways to bolster the economy and boost spending.

It is thought that the Chancellor is considering a range of options, including a VAT cut, a reduction in employers’ National Insurance Contributions and business rates reform.

Self-employment grant scheme extended for three months

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will provide an additional three months of support for eligible applicants.

Workers that qualify for an income support grant will be able to claim for up to £6,570 to cover the three months from June. However, this final payment may not be as much as self-employed workers received in the previous three-month period.

Coronavirus: Companies get three extra months to file taxes

Companies affected by the coronavirus can apply for an additional three month extension to file their taxes, without receiving an automatic penalty.

Part of the government’s package of support for UK businesses, the extension means that companies of all sizes will be able to prioritise their COVID-19 response over handling taxes.

4.3 million businesses must submit accounts and reports to Companies House each year and, under normal circumstances, late filers are issued with an automatic penalty.

This extension is not automatic, so you will need to apply to Companies House if you want to take advantage of it. However, any extension applications that cite issues around the impact of COVID-19 will be granted immediately, according to the Government.

If you have already extended your filing deadline or have shortened your accounting reference period then you may be ineligible for the automatic extension. Similarly, if your filing deadline has already passed then you will not be able to apply for the extension.

Employers guide to the new Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

Many business leaders welcomed the Chancellor’s recent statement where he spelled out the Government’s latest plans to support the economy through the coronavirus crisis. The headline announcement was a new Job Support Scheme that will follow the closure of the furlough scheme.

Rishi Sunak said that the new scheme would “support only viable jobs”. Some business leaders complained that it would not be enough to prevent widespread job losses, particularly in hard hit industries like hospitality and tourism.
To help employers make the most of the new scheme, we have answered some of your most important questions below.

Applying the VAT Cut in FreeAgent and Xero
Editor | 16 July 2020
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A VAT cut in the food, drink and hospitality sectors came into force this week following the Chancellor’s ‘Summer Economic Update’ last week.

Not too late to sell online during lockdown

Businesses selling food, drink and physical products aren’t too late to get online and take advantage of a boom in eCommerce.

Some of these companies have been the worst affected by lockdown and many have pivoted towards online sales during the coronavirus pandemic. Reopening is now on the horizon for many businesses, but online sales could provide vital income support for companies that think they may struggle over the coming months.

Huge Demand for £7,500 Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

HMRC has revealed that more than 100,000 self-employed Brits applied for financial aid in the first few hours after the income support scheme opened.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was originally announced in March to help freelancers and other self-employed workers who have seen their income dip.

Payroll furlough tools added to FreeAgent and Xero

The UK’s Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes provides a lifeline for businesses struggling to come to terms with the pandemic.

Eligible employees can be ‘furloughed’ and the government will pay 80% of their pay, up to £2,500 per month. Employers can also top this pay up to 100% if they wish.

You can find out more details about the scheme on the government website.

To make it easier for businesses to access this scheme, Xero and FreeAgent have added new tools to their payroll systems.

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