Bookkeeping Bites – Corona Questions

WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER

That has been our mantra of the week. As the reality of the Coronavirus starts to take hold, the reality for small businesses feels as threatening as the virus itself.

There are huge positives, we promise!! ‘What the devil are they?’ We hear many of you cry…..

For us, the positives were really exposed during a Corona focused question and answer session, held during our first ever online networking event with the wonderful Hampshire Women’s Business Group.

(By the way, this group is pretty special and is very easy to find on Facebook, just follow the link below…..

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hampshirewomensbusiness/

The biggest positive we noticed in this group was MINDSET…. And from seeing this, the main observation would be:

Be FLEXIBLE with your business model, stay FOCUSED on how you can adapt your products or services, and stay POSITIVE by looking at what part of this ‘thing’ YOU can CONTROL……

This is not us teaching you to suck eggs. Oh No. This is what the attendees to the online networking group were all doing, right now. Their business, their decision. Want to move online to deliver your product? Then you can do it. Want to offer a new service to diversify? Then you can do it.

Your business. Your decision.

For the Corona question and answer session held in the online networking group, our very own Teresa was on hand to explain all of the FINANCIAL HELP that will be out there for small businesses in these unprecedented times…  We offer a summary here for you of what you can access:

GRANTS

These will be big, (and we mean big) news. With two tiers proposed….

Are you a small business in business premises with a rateable value of £12,000 or less, and receive Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR)? If so, the Government have set aside £10,000 per such business as a GRANT….. The dishing out of these grants will be managed by the Council under which your business property falls, and they will be contacting businesses direct….

Are you in retail, hospitality or the leisure industry with a small business premises of a rateable value of between £15,000 to £51,000? Then there is £25,000 available as a grant for such businesses, again available from the Council under which your business property falls.

Not sure on your rateable value? It is shown on your annual rates bill, which for Winchester City Council, have just gone out. If you are still not sure, follow this link here, to find out more:

https://www.gov.uk/correct-your-business-rates

What about those small businesses that do not have business premises? Can they still claim these grants?’

A really good question that came up yesterday, and really important for all of those who use their home as their work base.

Putting it simply, the answer is NO. No business property, no grant. However, the Government have said they will do ‘whatever it takes’ to keep small businesses alive.

One such example is that if you work from home for your business, then you will be allowed to increase your calculations for home office use. This will help increase the expense of your home office in your annual Self Assessment Tax Return (SATR), meaning your profit will be decreased…..

Hello? Possibly pay less tax on a lower profit? ‘Yes please!’ I hear you all say.

TIME TO PAY (TTP)

This is another option available to ALL BUSINESSES. It is simple. It allows businesses extra time to pay for any HMRC tax liabilities……. It could help free up cash to keep your business running, instead of paying one lump sum.

Could someone call HMRC and ask to stop paying their current monthly payments for their Self Assessment Tax Return liability?’

Another good question from yesterday.

The answer is YES, YOU CAN CALL and ASK – talk to HMRC and they will talk to you.

FREEPHONE HMRC HELPLINE 

Don’t forget the FREEPHONE Covid-19 helpline number, set up by HMRC, and supported by 2000 HMRC employees, to help with ANY business related queries that are worrying you.  This number is:

0800 0159 559

You SHOULD call them if you have any concerns about your income… They may suggest applying for Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance or the New Style Job Seekers Allowance…. There is help out there…

This is an ever changing situation, with daily updates…. The next just this afternoon to focus on employees and protection of their income… As new information is released, we will be here to let you know how it impacts on you.

For more information on ALL of the support measures being proposed, follow this link to the HMRC website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

The range of Government support being offered is vast, and quite frankly, impressive. OK, it won’t lighten the burden of the initial worry, but it may help in the long run.

ONE LAST BIT OF ADVICE FROM US?

The BEST THING YOU can do RIGHT NOW is prepare to get that 2019/20 TAX RETURN completed once the tax year has ended – so after 5 April 2020…

Why? Any downturn in income as a result of this unprecedented times ,may mean you getting a refund against your previous payments on account, and change your future payments on account

DON’T FORGET

We are IN IT TOGETHER. If you need a bit of virtual hand holding, we are here. If you need a friendly ear to speak to, we are here.

REMEMBER

Your Business. Your Decision. Stay Positive. Stay Safe.

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