Covid – 19 BOUNCE BACK LOAN SCHEME (BBLS)

Covid – 19 BOUNCE BACK LOAN SCHEME (BBLS)

On 4 May 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched yet again another scheme to support the small businesses during these catastrophic times. Under these schemes, Government will provide 100% guarantee to lenders, thus will ensure least paperwork to be provided to lenders. Lenders will provide loans up to 25% (between £2,000 and £50,000) of business turnover at an interest rate of 2.5%. However, this interest and any associated fees will be paid by the government for the first 12 months. To provide even further help, the Government has decided that there will be no repayments for the first 12 months. These loans will be made for a fixed term of 6 years.

How to Apply

Small business owners including self-employed can apply online to accredited lenders (List of accredited lenders) by filling out a simple online form, with only seven questions. All eligible companies will be subject to standard customer fraud, anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks prior to any loan being made.

Who is Eligible

Your business must be able to selfdeclare to the lender that it:

  • has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
  • was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)
  • is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020
  • is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility
  • is not in bankruptcy or liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring at the time it submits its application for finance
  • derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement does not apply to charities or further-education colleges)

What Affinity Associates says

Being an experienced and well-established practice of Chartered Accountants in London for many years, we provide robust advice to our clients as and when requested. BBLS will mostly support all high street business to obtain much needed cash injection during and after the pandemic has made its way out. Many small businesses and Self-employed have already taken benefits from Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme to support their employees, however, they are not able to do much for their own survival. Affinity Associates are committed to assist you in evaluating your needs and apply for maximum possible government support. Call now for consultation on 02089032077 or submit your request in contact us.

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Covid- 19 updates

Covid- 19 updates

With CJRS and CBILS in full flow, most of the businesses have now availed benefits provided under these schemes. Most of the employers have now claimed their wages paid to furloughed employee up to 30 April 2020, while small and medium business have geared up and applied for business interruption loans.

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is intended to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. However, the scheme is not available for those who have already claimed grant Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The scheme is supposed to launch on 04 May 2020 where the UK Government guarantees 100% loan with no fees and interest payable for first 12 months. Although the full scheme is not yet declared, government has confirmed the loan term to be 6 years with no repayment to be made within first 12 months.

We at Affinity Associates believe that this scheme will support even the smallest business that are not able to claim benefits under other schemes due to weak financials. In particular, Sole traders and Partnerships with turnover below VAT threshold might be benefited with this scheme. Although HMRC has not confirmed anything, but Government guarantee suggests benefit to reach many small businesses with weak financials.

Financial support

Considering various schemes, it become difficult for business or individual to find out support that they can get from Government. We at Affinity Associates have visualized the sectors that will be worst affected by this pandemic and have already published blogs that can help making all possible claims for Grants and loans. If you are Self-employed, please  visit https://www.affinityassociates.com/covid-19-possible-action-self-employed-can-take-subsist/ . IF you are into Restaurants/Pubs/Clubs Business, which is one of the worst hit area within economy. Please visit https://www.affinityassociates.com/covid-19-sustainability-measures-restaurants-pubs-clubs/ to see how you can make best out of benefits and grants from government.

You may also use a support finder developed by HMRC. Just follow the link https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Affinity Associates have an experienced team of Chartered Certified Accountants that can assist you in further understanding claim processes. You can also contact us to learn more about how those relief packages can be used to benefit your business amid the COVID19 pandemic. To schedule a free consultation, you can call us at +44 20 8903 2077 or email us your queries at info@affinityassociates.com. We will be more than happy to help you in this tough time.

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Covid – 19, Possible action that a Self-employed can take to subsist

Covid – 19, Possible action that a Self-employed can take to subsist

Current pandemic has forced the entire country to stand still. Along with registered businesses, Sole traders and partnerships have suffered an equal hardship to generate revenues to survive. The UK Government has established a way to support self-employed individuals and are in the process of designing an application method.

The scheme will allow individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of the trading profits during the period of three month till June 2020. However, the claim amount is restricted to £2,500 a month. HMRC has set process in a way that they will contact individuals by mid May 2020 if they are eligible for the scheme and will invite them to apply online. Once your application is successful, HMRC will evaluate the eligible amount and confirm that with you.

Considering the above, it will be really a tough time for Self-employed and survival will become a major issue. We at Affinity Associates has worked out possible steps an individual should take in order to overcome this.

Firstly, a claim for Universal Credit can be made while you wait for the grant, but any grant received will be treated as part of your self-employment income and may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get.

Secondly, we can follow three step process as below:

Below 3 step process will help in taking right decision –

  1. Evaluating the loss of turnover during and after close down period. This can be achieved by estimating the loss in turnover per day (otherwise earned) by comparing it to historical data. A forecast need to be prepared keeping in mind that future revenues once the lockdown is over will also be minimal.
  2. Identification to be made between fixed costs and variable costs that can be avoided or curtailed. This step will help you to calculate the liquidity required for the business to survive. i.e. you will know your breakeven point.
  3. Once both above ‘projections and liquidity requirement are calculated, next step will be taking advantage of government funding and support. There are various schemes and grants offered by the UK Government which are as below –

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – This scheme will help you to cover major fixed cost (Salaries) that any business will have. If your business is registered for PAYE scheme, then you will be eligible to claim this benefit.  80% of the wages (up to £2,500) along with 80% of Employer’s NI and pension costs will be reimbursed by HMRC for March, April and May 2020. Employers will need to pay salaries for all three months and then by end of April 2020 HMRC will update on the process to obtain this relief.

VAT payments (if registered) due between April 2020 and June 2020 are now deferred until March 2021. Thus, liability can be settled anytime up to end of March 2021 and there will be no interest payable on due amounts.

Interim payment for tax year 05/04/2021 can be differed. Further if there are any liabilities pending to pay, we can request HMRC to defer those payments too.

Business rates relief – Your local council will forgo the rates for financial year 20/21. No application to be made.

an application can be made for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access finance of up to £5 millionThe government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. To check your eligibility and apply for loan please click here

Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) – Government has further announced that Local authorities will provide grants to business based on their rateable value. Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000. Further details can be found  here.

Affinity Associates Limited is committed to provide advice and support that is required in sustaining your business. We provide impeccable service in evaluating businesses and also preparation of management information (including projections). Call now for consultation on 02089032077 or submit your request in contact us.

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Covid – 19 Sustainability measures for Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs

Covid – 19 Sustainability measures for Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs

The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday, 13 April quoted that “the UK has not yet reached the peak of the virus”. He further indicated that countrywide lockdown may be extended by 3 weeks more for which decision will be taken by end of this week. Further lockdown will question the survival of businesses within leisure industry. It has become imperative for owners and managers of these businesses to evaluate the sustainability. We at Affinity Associates have prepared a small list of measures that can be followed to survive during this pandemic.

Below 3 step process will help in taking right decision –

  1. Evaluating the loss of turnover during and after close down period. This can be achieved by estimating the loss in turnover per day (otherwise earned) by comparing it to historical data. A forecast need to be prepared keeping in mind that future revenues once the lockdown is over will also be minimal.
  2. Identification to be made between fixed costs and variable costs that can be avoided or curtailed. This step will help you to calculate the liquidity required for the business to survive. i.e. you will know your breakeven point.
  3. Once both above ‘projections and liquidity requirement is calculated, next step will be take advantage of government funding and support. There are various schemes and grants offered by the UK Government which are as below –

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – This scheme will help you to cover major fixed cost that any business will have. 80% of the wages (up to £2,500) along with 80% of Employer’s NI  and pension costs will be reimbursed by  HMRC for March, April and May 2020. Employers will need to pay salaries for all three months and then by end of April 2020 HMRC will update on process to obtain this relief.

Business rates relief – Your local council will forgo the rates for financial year 20/21. No application to be made.

VAT payments due between April 2020 and June 2020 are now deferred until March 2021. Thus liability can be settled anytime up to end of  March 2021 and there will be no interest payable on due amounts.

Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) – Government has further announced that Local authorities will provide grants to business based on their rateable value.  Eligible businesses with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000 and with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Further details can be found  here.

Further an application can be made for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access finance of up to £5 millionThe government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. To check your eligibility and apply for loan please click here

Affinity Associates Limited is committed to provide advice and support that is required in sustaining your business. We provide impeccable service in evaluating business and preparing management information (including projections). Call now for consultation on 02089032077 or submit your request in contact us.

Covid – 19 Sustainability measures for Restaurants, Pubs and ClubsContact us

Changes to Insolvency Rules to Help Companies Trade – Coronavirus

Changes to Insolvency Rules to Help Companies Trade – Coronavirus

28 Mar 2020: Business Secretary, Alok Sharma MP, announces changes to the insolvency rules in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Business Secretary, Alok Sharma MP, has announced he will make changes to enable UK companies undergoing a rescue or restructure to continue trading, helping them avoid insolvency.

This will include enabling them to buy supplies while attempting a rescue, and temporarily suspending wrongful trading provisions retrospectively from 1 March 2020 for three months for company directors so they can keep their businesses going without the threat of personal liability.

Alok Sharma MP said: “Today’s measures will also reduce the burden on business, giving bosses much-needed breathing space to keep their workers employed and their companies going.”

An ICAEW spokesperson said: “This is a pragmatic move and a useful addition to the Government’s strategy to protect employment and prosperity. The proposed moratorium will definitely help some businesses survive, but we would encourage any directors with concerns about their company to seek professional advice at the earliest opportunity.”

Source: https://www.icaew.com/insights/coronavirus/uk-practical-business-advice-covid-19/changes-to-insolvency-rules-to-help-companies-trade

Covid -19; Extended Support by UK Government

Covid -19; Extended Support by UK Government

Considering the unprecedented worldwide epidemic, UK government promised wide variety of benefits for their citizens and Businesses. We at Affinity Associates, are committed to serve our clients within this struggled time. Considering that we have done research at our end to provide you the maximum information that is available to claim benefits.

A package of measures were announced and taken to support businesses, below are some;

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. These are described as ‘furloughed workers’. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

For VAT, payments are deferred for the next 3 months (from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020) and Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. However, VAT returns are required to be submitted on time through MTD. Thus, taxpayers with Direct Debit Setup are advised to instruct their banks to cancel it if struggling to make payments.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Under this scheme, small and medium sized businesses will have access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years. Further, Government will pay the interest for first 12 months and any other fees levied by lender at initial stage. To be eligible for the scheme, your business turnover should be below £45 million and your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

  • Time to pay

If you are self employed or in Business and facing financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities, then HMRC may arrange a payment plan to support you in these times. The arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. You need to contact HMRC helpline for advice on 0800 0159 559

  • 3-month extension period to file accounts at Companies House

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme

If you are self-employed or a member of LLP, and suffered due to loss of trade you will be able to get benefit from this scheme. An application cannot be made for the scheme as HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online. The Amount of grant will be calculated based on an average total trading profits of last three years (2018/19, 2017/18 and 2016/17) declared as per your Self Assessment Tax returns. However, the maximum grant available is £2,500 per month for three months. Basic criteria to qualify is that you should have traded in last year, should be trading in current year and should verify your intent to trade in forthcoming year. Further this grant is restricted to a person having total trading income less than £50,000 per year.

At Affinity Associates, we have a team of certified and experienced tax accountants in London, who are hardworking and well-versed with the tax compliances in the UK and are happy to support you in these difficult times. For further information on any matters about benefits, please contact us at info@affinityassociates.com

About Covid -19; Extended Support by UK GovernmentClick Here

COVID 19 – How HMRC is Supporting Businesses?

COVID 19 – How HMRC is Supporting Businesses?

In the Budget (11 March 2020) the Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses to ensure the impact of COVID-19 is minimised. These measures will really help small Business and Individuals working for them to survive through tough times. Below are some highlights of benefits that small businesses can claim –

  • 6 months interest free loan to cover up to 80% of losses from British Business Bank under Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • 14 days (starting from 1st day off work) Statutory Sick Pay for all employees
  • Pay arrangement programme with dedicated support line (0800 0159 559) to help financially distressed tax payers (Business and Self-employed)
  • £10,000 cash grant for small business that are eligible for small business rate relief / Rural rate relief
  • Business rate holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for tax year 2020-21
  • Additionally, £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises

Further the UK government has decided to delay rollout of IR35 tax reforms until 06 April 2021.

About Covid -19; Extended Support by UK GovernmentClick Here