General Overview:

Businesses in Scotland will benefit from both UK wide measures and an additional £2.3 billion of measures from Scottish Government. For Perth and Kinross based businesses, this package of support includes the following key measures.

  • 100% rates relief for properties in the retail, hospitality, leisure and airport sectors.
  • 1.6% rates relief for all non-domestic properties across Scotland. effectively freezing the poundage rate next year
  • 80% of wages for furloughed workers to be paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • Reclaim SSP for employees who are sick or self-isolating due to the coronavirus
  • £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief for rates
  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000
  • An additional 75% for businesses with more than one rateable property
  • Support for newly self-employed people and SME businesses in distress due to Covid.
  • SEE ALSO : Other Financial Help for government backed loan schemes and industry specific funds.

Details and links to apply

Financial Help from Government

Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will now get support from the government.

Delivered through a temporary reinsurance agreement with insurers currently operating in the market the government will work with businesses and the industry on the full details of the scheme to ensure firms are supported and risk is appropriately shared between the government and insurers.

Trade Credit Insurance provides cover to hundreds of thousands of business to business transactions, particularly in non-service sectors, such as manufacturing and construction. As of April 2020 there was over £171 billion business activity insured, covering transactions between around 13000 suppliers and 650,000 buyers

It insures suppliers selling goods against the company they are selling to defaulting on payment, giving businesses the confidence to trade with one another but due to Coronavirus and businesses struggling to pay bills, they risk having credit insurance withdrawn, or premiums increasing to unaffordable levels.

To prevent this from happening, the government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.

The guarantees will cover trading by domestic firms and exporting firms and the intent is for agreements to be in place with insurers by end of this month.

The guarantee will be temporary and targeted to cover CV-19 economic challenges, and will provisionally last until the end of the year. It will be followed by a review of the TCI market to ensure it can continue to support businesses in future. Further details will be announced in due course.

Launched on Thursday 30th April, the Self-Employed Hardship Grant of up to £2000 is open to individuals who registered as self-employed after April 6th 2019 and who have not been able to access support through other schemes or have exhausted all other avenues for business support.

The purpose of this fund is to provide hardship relief to newly self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other schemes or have exhausted all other avenues for business support.

Individuals may only apply once and only in the Local Authority area they reside in. APPLY HERE >>>

This payment is a grant and not a loan. A grant awarded in respect of valid application therefore does not need to be refunded by the recipient.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

Important Points

  • Grant recipients will need to declare this as income to HMRC.
  • Self-employed people will be asked to provide documentary evidence of their status and eligibility for the grant. Local authorities will then determine whether they meet the criteria, set out in guidance from the Scottish Government.
  • You will need to provide documentation to show you had an active business prior to COVID-19. A full list of acceptable documentation is provided with the application form.
  • You will need to self-declare that you are currently experiencing hardship
  • You will need evidence of being resident in the local authority area of application

Applicants must sign a declaration confirming that they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Became self-employed on/after 6 April 2019 (did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19)
  • Over 50% of individual income is from self-employment
  • Trading profits below £50,000 in financial year 2019-20
  • Has lost business due to coronavirus and experience personal financial hardship as a result
  • Is ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focussed SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)
  • Does not receive working age benefit payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support) or have applied for but not yet started receiving Universal Credit or an advanced payment of Universal Credit
  • Trade as self-employed, not as a limited company or partnership
  • Has taken steps to limit costs and expenditure (including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday)
  • Does not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to meet basic needs

APPLY HERE >>>

The following benefits will happen automatically for all eligible businesses. You do not need to apply.

  • 100% rates relief for properties in the retail, hospitality, leisure and airport sectors.
  • 1.6% rates relief for all non-domestic properties across Scotland, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year.

HMRC has announced that both VAT and Income Tax Self-Assessment payments can be deferred under the following conditions. HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities. See HMRC support for businesses page here >>>

Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments can be deferred for 3 months

  • The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
  • This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
  • Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period.
  • 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.
  • VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Self-employed Income Tax payments due in July 2020 will be deferred to January 2021

  • For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.
  • This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
  • No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Businesses of all sizes can access the Coronavirus: Business Support Fund. We urge you complete this as soon as possible and to ensure you have completed all sections in full, including the uploading of additional information.

  • £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief for rates
  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, Self-catering accommodation and caravans leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000
  • Businesses with more than one rateable property can access a further 75% of this funding for each property. This addition was added on 5th May 2020. You must go through a full application for each property.
  • Apply Now >>>

You can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Under this scheme your employees will be classified as furloughed workers. This means that they are kept on your payroll, rather than being laid off and cannot work during this period.

You can expect to receive the funds six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that are held for your PAYE scheme. We advise that you read all the available guidance on GOV.UK before you apply.

  • Gather all the information and the precise calculations you need before you start your application – if you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this.
  • The bank account number and sort code you’d like HMRC to use when they pay your claim.
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  • The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  • The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

You can find out more on the calculation guidance page where you can access a claim calculator – this will allow you to check your claim for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period.

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.  However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

After you’ve made a claim do keep a note or a print-out of your claim reference number – you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email – and retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case they need to contact you about them.

This scheme will be open until the end of October 2020. This is an extension of the original deadline which had been set as end of June. The change was announced on May 12th at the Government’s press briefing. For further information, download the Government’s Step-By-Step guide for furloughing employees.

The Scottish Government has brought forward legislation to allow small and medium sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible
  • The size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020 
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
  • If your employee needs a sick note due to coronavirus please ask them not to don’t contact their GP or NHS 24. They can download an isolation note directly from NHS Inform here

All UK based businesses are eligible and a rebate scheme is currently being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legislation has been passed.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships). This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Created to support those who work for themselves who are now experiencing financial difficulty, the scheme’s aims are to bring parity across the lives of all working people during this difficult time.

The scheme’s headline benefits

  • 80% of self-employed average monthly wages will be covered by the government.
  • This will be calculated using average monthly profits over last three financial years.
  • This will be capped at £2,500 per month, and will initially last three months.
  • The scheme will only be open to those who are already self-employed.
  • Open to those with income of £50,000 or less.
  • Access to the scheme is targeted for “no later than June”.

Access the scheme

  • For information on how to access the scheme, please click over onto the Business Support pages of the gov.uk website here.
  • There is also a really useful frequently asked questions page here.
  • Newly Self Employed and Micro Businesses: An additional £100million fund is expected to be open for applications by the end of April.  Full eligibility criteria will follow.

Other Benefits for Self Employed

  • If you are sick or if you have been advised to self-isolate. You will be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from day one instead of day eight.  Payments have been raised so that the self-employed receive the same amount as someone on statutory sick pay. This is currently £94.25 a week. You can make a claim for new style Employment and Support Allowance on the Government’s website. You’ll need to fill in a NSESAF1 claim form to apply for “New Style” ESA.
  • Claiming Universal Credit top ‘Top Up’ your income.  The minimum income floor (MIF) applies to those who’ve been self-employed for more than 12 months. The MIF assumes that self-employed people work 35 hours a week and earn the minimum wage. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) compares their real earnings with the MIF to work out their Universal Credit award. For full details go to the Self-employment and Universal Credit page on the Gov.uk website.

The Scottish Government have set up a business support helpline (0300 303 0660) for all business support enquiries in Scotland and request that businesses needing guidance contact them in the first instance on this number.

Additional advice is available here: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/

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