It’s safe to say we’ve experienced an unprecedented start to the new tax year, with coronavirus-related calls keeping us extremely busy.
Most of those queries have been related to the furlough scheme – who’s eligible, how much is available and accessibility.
The coronavirus job retention scheme, to use its full name, went live on Monday 20 April 2020 just days before most businesses run payroll for April.
Applications from more than 140,000 employers went into the Treasury within the first eight hours of the furlough scheme opening.
Less than 24 hours’ later, Westminster extended this form of support for a further month – until 30 June 2020.
The scheme is under constant review and could be extended if lockdown measures are extended beyond 7 May, when the next review is due.
While this affects more than a million furloughed employees in the UK, Westminster announced other forms of support.
If you’re self-employed, either as an individual or through a partnership, you may be eligible for income support.
The coronavirus self-employed income support scheme provides taxable grants worth 80% of a self-employed worker’s trading profits up to £2,500 a month.
It can be claimed for an initial three months, starting from 1 March 2020, as long as trading profits were less than £50,000 in 2018/19.
That means the scheme is open until 31 May 2020, although it seems likely to be extended by a month much like the furlough scheme.
Grants are liable for income tax and national insurance contributions at your marginal rate, but they do not need to be repaid to the Treasury.
In terms of eligibility, you need to have submitted a 2018/19 tax return, traded in 2019/20 and in 2020/21, and have lost profits due to COVID-19.
Your trading profits must be under £50,000 and make up at least half of your income in 2018/19 or the average for tax years between 2016 and 2019.
You should be able to claim for the self-employed income support scheme from mid-May, with payments in your account by early June.
In a separate measure of self-employed support, the next 2019/20 payments on account deadline on 31 July has been deferred.
While that gives you a break from paying your second income tax instalment, you will need to settle your 2019/20 bill before 31 January 2021. Our self-assessment tax service can help with that.
Coronavirus support for charities
Earlier this month, Westminster announced a £750m support package for frontline charities that have been disrupted by COVID-19.
Prior to that, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said it will not pursue any Scottish-based charities that file their accounts late.
However, charities are still encouraged to submit their annual accounts on time – nine months after the end of their financial year – if they can.
Charitable companies that are limited by guarantees can also apply to Companies House for a three-month extension to their filing deadline.
Companies that apply and cite coronavirus-related disruption will automatically be granted the three-month extension.
Applications can be made online and should take around 15 minutes to complete.
For more details on coronavirus-related support available to you, email us at email@example.com or call us on 0141 221 257.