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Further Government Help for Businesses due to COVID-19

Information has been published by HMRC concerning the process for repaying VAT deferred by businesses during the first lockdown.

To defer your payments, you will have to opt into the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme when it opens on 23rd February. We, as your agent, cannot opt into the scheme for you.

Once opted in, you can opt to make up to 11 monthly instalments, interest-free, with all instalments required to be paid by the end of March 2022.

In order to qualify for the scheme, you must:

  • Still have deferred VAT to pay.
  • Be up to date with your VAT returns.
  • Opt in before the end of March 2021.
  • Pay the first instalment before the end of March 2021.
  • Be able to pay the deferred VAT by Direct Debit.

If you opt into the scheme, you can still have a ‘time to pay’ arrangement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax.

Access to the scheme may be blocked for those with outstanding VAT returns.

Bounce Back Loans Extended

The Government have announced that there will be greater repayment flexibility for businesses that took out government-backed Bounce Back Loans to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

Some of the features of the original loan included a 12-month payment holiday, fixed interest and a 6-year repayment term.

Now the chancellor has announced that borrowers are able to:

  1. Extend the payment holiday up to 18 months.
  2. Extend the repayment period by 4 years to 10 years

Kick Start Scheme Simplified

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Until recently, you could only apply if you were looking to create 30 jobs or more. This has now changed. You can apply for a grant directly here.