If you have any queries relating to any of this information, please get in touch.
The information on this page was last updated on 13th January 2022.View our key dates timeline
Recovery Loan Scheme
From 1 January 2022, the following changes will come into force to the Recovery Loan Scheme:
- The scheme will only be open to small and medium sized enterprises
- The maximum amount of finance available will be £2 million per business
- The guarantee coverage that the government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70%
Budget 2021 announced a new loan scheme to be introduced to replace the government-guaranteed coronavirus loan schemes which will end on 31 March 2021.
From 6 April 2021 the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million to give them confidence in continuing to provide finance to UK businesses. The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021. The following is for informational purposes only.
The Bounce Back Loan scheme enables small and medium businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.
Business can apply for loans, worth up to 25% of their turnover, of between £2,000 and £50,000.
The loan is 100% government guaranteed, with fees and interest covered for the first 12 months. The length of the loan is 6 years, with a fixed interest rate of 2.5%. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months, and no charges will apply if early repayment is made.
You can apply for a loan if your business:
- is based in the UK
- was established before 1 March 2020
- has been impacted by coronavirus
Businesses from all sectors are eligible to apply, but banks (excluding insurance brokers), public-sector bodies, and state-funded primary and secondary schools are not eligible.
You cannot apply for a Bounce Back Loan if you are already claiming under any of the following government support schemes:
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
- COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
If you have already received a loan of up to £50,000 under one of these schemes it is possible to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme. The deadline to arrange this with your lender is 4 November 2020.
Further details on eligibility and finding a lender can be found here.
Some banks are now prioritising existing customers.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021. The following is for informational purposes only.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which opened for applications on 23 March 2020, can provide loan facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK (SMEs) that are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. It is delivered by the British Business Bank through 50+ accredited lenders and partners.
The scheme supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.
From 30 July 2020 smaller businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than £9m in annual turnover will not be considered ‘undertakings in difficulty’, and may now be eligible for the scheme. Further details are available here.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021. The following is for informational purposes only.
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides financial support to larger businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. The scheme support businesses with a turnover above £45 million, the upper limit for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which focuses on smaller businesses (CBILS).
Delivered by the British Business Bank, through 50+ accredited lenders and partners, the scheme supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities.
Initially, the scheme lender could provide:
- up to £25 million to businesses with turnover from £45 million up to £250 million
- up to £50 million to businesses for those with a turnover of over £250 million
However, on 19 May 2020 the Chancellor announced changes to the scheme, due to come into place on Tuesday 26 May 2020. Under the changes:
- businesses will be able to borrow up to the lower of 25% of turnover or £200m
- loans above £50m will be subject to restrictions including a ban on dividends, pay rises and cash bonuses to senior management (including board members). Any bonuses and pay offers agreed before the loan was taken out are excluded from the ban.
These changes and restrictions will also apply to any companies who continue to borrow money, beyond 12 months, from the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).
COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
The COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility closed to new applications on 31 December 2020. The following is for informational purposes only.
Under the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies with turnover in excess of £500m.
This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.
It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.
All UK businesses are eligible.
The full rules of the scheme and guidance on how to apply is available on the Bank of England website.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021 and the following is for informational purposes only.
Since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was launched in March 2020, there have been different versions of the scheme offering varying levels of flexibility and funding.
Here we have compiled a complete list of our updates on the scheme, with the most recent being first.
If you have any further queries regarding the CJRS scheme, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Laura Parr in our Employment Tax team.
Furlough scheme extended to 30 September 2021
In Budget 2021 the Chancellor has further extended the scheme to 30 September 2021. The level of grant available to employers under the scheme will stay the same until 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant an employer must continue to pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.
The reduction in the level of the grant means that the percentage recovery of furloughed wages will be as follows:
- For July 2021 70% of furloughed wages up to a maximum of £2187.50 and;
- For August and September 2021 60% of furloughed wages up to a maximum of £1,875.00.
Employers will need to continue to fund employer NICs and mandatory minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.
The Chancellor has also extended eligibility for the scheme. For periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, employers can claim for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021, as long as a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission was made between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
Extended furlough scheme – November – April 2021
Chancellor update: Furlough and loan schemes extended (18 December 2020)
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended until March 2021 (5 November 2020)
Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (2 November 2020)
Job Retention Scheme
Please note, the Job Retention Scheme was never implemented by HMRC, as the furlough scheme was extended (see above).
Job Support Scheme update – who is eligible and how to calculate a claim (28 October 2020)
Job Retention Bonus scheme (12 August 2020)
Flexible furlough – July – October 2020
Reminders on furlough claim changes and deadlines (27 July 2020)
How to handle annual leave (15 July 2020)
The new Flexible Furlough Scheme (29 June 2020)
Original furlough scheme – March – June 2020
HMRC update on furloughed employees and holiday pay (19 May 2020)
Update on furlough payments available for directors (7 April 2020)
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Everything you need to know (27 March 2020)
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021 and the following is for informational purposes only.
The Pensions Regulator has confirmed that employers can change the level of contributions payable to pension arrangements for furloughed employees. In normal circumstances, employers seeking to amend any contributions would have to undergo a minimum 60 day consultation period with employees.
The consultation period has been waived until 30 June 2020.
The regulator has also waived fines for employers who are late in paying contributions under auto-enrolment regulations.
Further details can be found here.
The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme reopened as of 21 December 2021. Claims can be made retrospectively from mid-January 2022. The Scheme is open to UK based employers with a PAYE payroll and less than 250 employees as of 30 November 2021.
Employers can claim for up to 2 weeks of SSP per employee for coronavirus related reasons. This 2-week limit has been reset, so an employer will be able to claim up to two weeks per employee regardless of whether they have claimed for them previously.
Holiday entitlement and pay
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021 and the following is for informational purposes only.
The government has now set out its long awaited, detailed guidance about the way annual leave, bank holidays and pay will work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The guidance confirms that employers can require employees to take holiday during furlough. This will allow employers to ensure employees have not built up months of accrued holiday when they return to work or when their employment ends.
Employers should be mindful of the fact that they will need to top up holiday pay to 100% of normal pay for any holiday taken. Under the rules of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the employer can continue to claim the 80% grant and importantly, the holiday taken does not break the furlough status.
Full details of the government guidance can be found here.
HMRC Time-to-Pay service
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. HMRC have set up a dedicated phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus to get practical help and advice. Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to support businesses and individuals when needed.
HMRC’s online Time to Pay facility allows eligible taxpayers to apply to set up a Self-Assessment payment plan online, whereby instalments are made by Direct Debit. In order to set up a Self-Assessment payment plan, you cannot have any other HMRC payment plans set up, and your tax returns need to be up to date.
The HMRC assessment helpline number is 03002003822.
Deferring VAT payments
The VAT deferral new payment scheme has now closed and the following is for informational purposes only.
Back in March 2020, the UK Government announced that certain VAT payments could be deferred. One of several measures introduced to support businesses and self-employed through the COVID-19 crisis, the deferral was available to all UK VAT registered businesses and non-established taxable individuals.
Those who still have VAT liabilities due can either:
- Pay the deferred VAT in full, on or before 31 March 2021
- Join the VAT deferral new payment scheme, which is open between 23 February and 21 June 2021
- Contact HMRC if you need extra help paying your liabilities
Reduced VAT rate
In July 2020, the government introduced a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT for supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions to certain attractions. In September 2020 the Chancellor extended the reduced rate to 31 March 2021. Following the Spring Budget 2021, the government has now announced an extension of the reduced rate until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard 20% rate, a 12.5% rate will apply for the subsequent six months until 31 March 2022.
Self-Assessment late payment penalty extension
In 2022, HMRC is giving Self-Assessment taxpayers more time to complete their 2020-2021 tax return and pay any tax due, waiving late filing and late payment penalties for one month.
The deadline to file and pay remains 31 January 2022. The penalty waivers will mean that:
- anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February
- anyone who cannot pay their Self Assessment tax by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full, or set up a Time to Pay arrangement, by 1 April
However, interest will be payable from 1 February as usual, meaning it is advisable for taxpayers to file and pay on time if possible.
HMRC is giving taxpayers more time to pay or set up a payment plan. Self-Assessment taxpayers will not be charged the initial 5% late payment penalty in relation to the 2019/20 tax liability if they pay their tax or agree a Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC by 1 April 2021.
Filing accounts with Companies House
The automatic extensions granted to companies impacted by COVID-19 ended for filing deadlines that fell after 5 April 2021, and companies are now required to file documents by their usual deadlines. The following is for informational purposes only.
Companies House have now confirmed businesses may file their accounts up to three months late if affected by COVID-19, to provide some much-needed breathing space in a time where many businesses are facing intense pressure and uncertainty.
There is one caveat – to benefit from the delay, businesses must act before their original filing deadline. If you do not apply for the extension and your accounts are filed late, an automatic penalty will still be imposed.
You are able to apply for an extension online or via post – more information can be found on the Governments website, which you can access by clicking here. Each appeal will be treated on a case-by-case basis under existing poor health policies.
The same extension will apply to submission of the corporation tax return. Under FA 1998, Sch. 18, para. 19(b), a company is not liable to a flat rate penalty for late submission of a tax return if the return is delivered no later than the last day for the delivery of those accounts to the registrar of companies.
Please note: this only protects the company from the fixed penalty. The tax-geared penalty will arise 18 months after the return period, if any tax remains unpaid at the 18-month date.
IR35 tax reforms postponed until 2021
Update: On 6 April 2021 the postponed IR35 Off Payroll Working rules for the Private sector were introduced. Read more here.
The extension of the IR35 Off Payroll rules into the Private Sector has been postponed until 6 April 2021.
Whilst for many businesses this will be a welcome development, for others who have already spent a lot of time, money and effort preparing for the changes, there will be an understandable sense of frustration. It is important to recognise that this development is a postponement of the new regime, not a cancellation. The internal processes, that organisations have developed to manage the implementation of the requirements of the IR35 Off Payroll Legislation, will still be required from 6 April 2021. Preparing now, and being aware of the new rules that will impact on ongoing contracts with intermediaries that may still be in place after the 5 April 2021, will save a lot of time going forward.
Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant
On 21st December 2021, the government announced additional support for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant
One-off cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises for eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector will be available through local council.
More than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses
This scheme is covered by 3 possible subsidy allowances, click here for further information.
The Restart Grant closed to new applications on 30 June 2021. The following is for informational purposes only.
Announced in Budget 2021 and available from April, Restart Grants will be provided in England of up to £6,000 per premises for nonessential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses.
The last payment cycle for this scheme closed to new applications on 31 May 2021. The following is for informational purposes only.
Following the announcement of a third national lockdown, on 5 January 2021 a new top-up grant was announced to support an estimated 600,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
The one-off top-up grants are worth up to £9,000.
Businesses will receive the one-off top-up grants as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
A further £594 million discretionary fund will also be made available to local councils and devolved nations to support businesses which are not eligible for the new grants, but are affected by the tighter restrictions.
Local Restrictions Support Grant
The Local Restrictions Support Grant closed on 31 March 2021. The following is for informational purposes only.
As a result of tiered local restrictions and a second national lockdown, the government is providing local authorities with further funding to support local businesses.
These non-repayable grants can provide a vital lifeline for businesses who have been affected by local and/or national lockdown rules and we would encourage all businesses to check if they are eligible and apply.
Local authorities have the ability to determine the eligibility criteria for the grants, as well as decide on the application process.
- The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) will provide grants of up £3,000 a month for businesses forced to close due to local or national restrictions.
- The Local Restrictions Grant (Open) will provide grants to businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local restrictions. Local councils have the discretion to provide grant funding for businesses under this scheme.
For the most up to date information for each area, use the following links:
Protection from eviction legislation
From 1 October 2021 the emergency eviction legislation ended and all notice periods returned to the pre-pandemic position. The following is for informational purposes only.
Emergency legislation introduced in March means that tenants in social or private rented accommodation will have legal protection from eviction for 3 months. This period has now been extended until 31 March 2021.
Find out more here.
Moratorium on commercial evictions
The existing measures in place to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended to 25 March 2022.
In June 2021, the government introduced legislation to protect businesses forced to remain closed during the pandemic, and unable to pay rent on their commercial property, from eviction.
The legislation ringfences outstanding unpaid rent that has built up when a business has had to remain closed during the pandemic. Landlords are expected to make allowances for the ringfenced rent arrears from these specific periods of closure due to the pandemic, and share the financial impact with their tenants.
The legislation will help tenants and landlords work together to come to an agreement on how to handle the money owed – this could be done by waiving some of the total amount or agreeing a longer-term repayment plan.
Business rates relief for retail, leisure, hospitality and nurseries
At the Spring Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced a continuation of 100% business rates relief for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties. Nurseries will also qualify for relief in the same way as other eligible properties.
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund closed on 5 October 2020.
You should have received your grant by 30 September 2020. Contact your local council if you think you’re eligible for a grant but have not yet received it.
Rural rate relief
Under the rural rate relief, eligible businesses do not pay business rates. The relief applies to businesses in rural areas with a population below 3000.
The relief is applicable if your business is in an eligible area and either:
- the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
- the only public house or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500
Contact your local council to check you’re eligible and to apply for rural rate relief.
Small business rate relief
Small business rate relief applies to businesses where:
- the property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
- the business only uses one property – you may still be able to get relief if you use more
Contact your local council to apply for small business rate relief.
Business rates do not apply to properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will
For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100% to 0%.
Grant for recipients of small business rate relief
The Small Business Grant Fund closed on 5 October 2020. The following is for informational purposes only.
A one-off cash grant of £10,000 is available for small businesses who are already receiving small business rate relief (generally, businesses with one property with a rateable value < £15,000) and/or rural rate relief, based in England, and occupying property.
The cash grants will be administered by local authorities. Eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority, though some local authorities have decided to operate an applications process. To speed up the availability of support, Nottingham City Council has asked businesses to provide some brief details to apply for the business support grant by filling out the online form here.
The £750m of government funding has been allocated to charities depending on service need. Details of how funding was allocated can be found here.
Suspension of wrongful trading liability
The following is for informational purposes only.
Emergency insolvency measures have been put in place to prevent companies unable to meet their debts, due to the impact of Coronavirus, from being forced to file for bankruptcy.
A temporary suspension to wrongful trading rules for company directors in the UK will remove the threat of personal liability. In normal circumstances, it is an offence to continue trading if they know their business will be unable to pay debts, and that liquidation is unavoidable.
This has been lifted, meaning company directors will be able to continue to pay staff and suppliers even if fears that the company could become insolvent exist. The changes will apply retrospectively from 1 March 2020. These measures are currently in place until 30 September 2020.
COVID-19 Ideas Grant
The COVID-19 Ideas Grant closed on 15 December 2020. The following is for informational purposes only.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will provide funding for short to medium-term research projects, aimed at addressing and mitigating the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
80% of costs of projects will be funded. You will need to be able to prove why you will not be able to repurpose any existing funds for the project.
Find out more here.
The Innovate UK scheme closed on 31 December 2020. The following is for informational purposes only.
Innovate UK will provide £750m of funding, available to small and medium sized enterprises that are engaged in Research and Development.
£200m of grants and loan payments will be available to 2,500 existing Innovate UK partners on an opt-in basis. £550m will also be made available to increase the support on offer to existing partners. Alongside this, £175,000 will be available to 1,200 firms who do not currently receive Innovate UK funding.
The scheme will remain open for applications until all available funds have been committed or 31 December 2020, whichever is earlier.
Find out more here.
The Future Fund scheme closed to new applicants on 31 January 2021. The online portal remains open for investee companies with legally completed convertible loan agreements (CLAs) to submit information. The following is for informational purposes only.
The Future Fund will support innovative UK companies that are essential in ensuring the UK retains its world-leading position is science, innovation and technology.
Developed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank, the Future Fund supports companies that would usually rely on equity investment, but are facing significant delays between funding rounds due to the current economic situation. Financial support will be provided by an initial commitment of £250m of new government funding, subject to at least equal match funding from third-party investors
For the self-employed
Self-employed Support Scheme
Claims for the fifth SEISS grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim was 30 September 2021. The following is for informational purposes only.
Extension of the SEISS Scheme – Budget 2021
Budget 2021 has confirmed details of two further SEISS grants. The fourth grant will be 80% of three months’ average trading profits to be claimed from late April 2021. Payment will be in a single instalment capped at £7,500 in total and will cover the period February to April 2021.
The scheme has been extended to those who have filed a 2019/20 self- assessment tax return prior to 3 March 2021. This means that the newly self-employed from April 2019 now qualify subject to satisfying the other conditions.
A fifth and final grant was announced and can be claimed from late July 2021 to cover the period May to September 2021. This grant will be determined by a turnover test. Where the self-employed business turnover has fallen by 30% the grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits capped at £7,500. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850.
Update following the Chancellor’s announcement on 24 September: An extension to the SEISS from November 2020 to April 2021 will provide self-employed individuals with further support through a third grant. The grant will be available to those who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade, but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.
Two taxable grants will be available:
The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. Following an update on 2nd November, the initial grant will now cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. The claims window has also been brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.
The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The level of the grant is yet to be decided on.
Please see below for details on the first two SEISS grants (applications for these are now closed):
The Chancellor announced a new self-employed support scheme in March giving self-employed workers a taxable grant of up to 80% of average monthly earnings. Describing it as one of the most generous packages in the world, the support package for self-employed people was initially intended to run for a minimum of 3 months and cover 80% of average earnings over the past three years earnings (up to £2,500 per month) for that 3 month period.
Under the first grant, eligible individuals can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.
The portal opened to applications from taxpayers on a staged basis between 13 and 18 May, with the portal opening on different days for different taxpayers and further details of how to make the application are below
The scheme is open to claims for the first grant relating to the initial 3 months of trading profits until 13 July 2020.
On 29 May it was announced that the scheme would be extended to enable individuals to claim a second taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
Applications for the second grant will open on 17 August with a deadline of 19 October. An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant, but they will need to be able to prove that their business has been adversely affected by COVID-19 on or after 14 July 2020.