In these uncertain times we wanted to reach out to reassure you that we are here to offer support and guidance over the next few months. Things are not going to be easy but we will help you through it where we can.
The health and well-being of our staff and clients is the most important thing right now. Over the past year we have made considerable investments to ensure that our staff can continue to provide exceptional levels of client service even while working from home. Our staff are fully equipped with full computer and telephone access and you should not notice a change in our standards – it will just be different.
We are currently advising against all face-to-face meetings and all our staff have the capability of running video calls from any location. If you have a face-to-face meeting booked please do not attend our offices and someone should be in touch to reschedule a video conference. Don’t panic, you will not need any specialist equipment or software other than a PC, mac, tablet or smartphone.
We want you to rest assured that we will continue to complete your accounts, audit, VAT, payroll and tax returns in a timely manner.
If you and your people are working remotely and/or struggling to keep your records straight then please let us know. We can install a variety of Cloud based solutions to help and if you can scan and email documents to us we can help in managing them.
If you need anything please let us know.
LATEST GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out further measures to assist businesses of all sizes. These include:
- £330bn (15% of the UK GDP) of Government backed loans with reasonable terms.
- Business interruption loan scheme giving loans of up to £5m to small and medium businesses with no interest during the first 6 months.
- All businesses within the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors will pay no business rates for 12 months irrespective of the rateable value. Where the rateable value is less than £51,000 the business can also get a £25,000 grant which is not repayable, designed to cover a portion of their rent.
- All small businesses (750,000 of them) can apply for a cash grant of £10,000
- The Government will reimburse small and medium businesses for statutory sick pay.
- Mortgage lenders will offer a 3 month mortgage holiday for individuals the who struggle due to COVID-19
- Over the coming days the Government will be releasing further measures to assist all businesses with staff costs to try to avoid redundancies
CAN’T PAY YOUR TAXES?
The dedicated HMRC helpline for businesses and self-employed individuals who have difficulty with paying their tax due to COVID-19, promised at Budget 2020, is now in operation. The number of the helpline is 0800 0159 559.
The helpline can assist with:
- setting up a time to pay arrangement,
- suspending debt collection proceedings, and
- cancelling late payment penalties and (unusually) interest.
- 2,000 experienced HMRC staff are available on the helpline but it is not completely clear whether this is additional resource or a deployment.
Here is a quick action plan you could use to help focus your thoughts around your business:
- Keep your eye on Government advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
- Your main purpose is to protect the health of yourself, employees and customers and then reduce the risk of the financial impact to your business. So you need to take action now.
- Hold a meeting with key team members and work through the agenda in our helpsheet (click here – www.lewisbrownlee.co.uk/covid19-helpsheet).
- Summarise the actions and allocate responsibility to make them happen.
- Talk to us – we are all in this together.
Should you have any concerns or queries please do get in touch with your usual contact.
The Lewis Brownlee Team