Budget 2020: Coronavirus – Support for business

Published by Ross Parsler on 12 March 2020

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Ross Parsler, Corporate Tax Senior Manager, gives a run-down of the support available for businesses recently announced in Rishi Sunak’s budget.

Video transcript:

The UK government has taken steps to reassure businesses about the potential economic struggles as a result of COVID-19.

Part of this was a pledged £30billion package to help businesses affected by the coronavirus.

For businesses, the main support mechanisms are:

1. The Government will support small and medium-sized business to cope with the extra costs of statutory sick pay related to COVID-19, as long as the employer has fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020. This will be limited to two weeks per employee.

2. The abolition of business rates for one year for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value below £51,000. There will be further relief from business rates for small businesses that already claim business rates relief.

3. HMRC will increase its facilities for taxpayers to apply for Time to Pay agreements for outstanding tax debts. How HMRC will implement this in practice remains to be seen. Based on our recent experiences with HMRC’s debt management team, its questionable how useful this will be in practical terms.

4. A new temporary Coronavirus interruption loan scheme, with loans of up to £1.2 million to be made available to businesses and backed by a government guarantee for up to 80% of the loan value.

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