For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
All UK businesses are eligible. How to access the scheme
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.
Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.
Small Business Action Plan
Not all businesses are going to survive the next three months. If your customers are in isolation and cannot get to you or you cannot deliver or they cannot pay you, there is the reality of reduced or no sales for the next three or so months and even beyond if the virus remainsHere is an action plan of this to consider.
COMPANIES TO RECEIVE 3-MONTH EXTENSION PERIOD TO FILE ACCOUNTS DURING COVID-19
From today (25 March 2020), businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts.
This joint initiative between the government and Companies House will mean businesses can prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus.
As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.
Applying for an extension: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/extensions?_ga=2.135485106.227783380.1584965618-962621089.1583406783
GOVERNMENT RELAXATION OF FINANCIAL SOLVENCY RULES DURING PANDEMIC
The government plans to introduce emergency changes to overhaul insolvency laws and give “breathing space” to companies hit by the coronavirus crisis, Alok Sharma, the business secretary has announced, in a move to help prevent mass failures.
Laws that make it illegal for a business to trade when it is insolvent are set to be suspended. The decision means companies and individuals that cannot meet their debts because of the coronavirus pandemic will not be forced to file for insolvency.
Current insolvency rules make it a civil offense for directors of limited liability companies to continue to trade when they are not certain that their businesses can continue to meet their debts, with directors becoming personally liable, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement.
Amendments to wrongful trading rules will protect directors during the pandemic by allowing companies to continue buying supplies, such as energy, raw materials or broadband, while they attempt a rescue, the government said.
The suspension be put in place retrospectively from March 1 for three months.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) also welcomed the changes. A spokesperson for the ICAEW said: 'This is a pragmatic move and a useful addition to the government's strategy to protect employment and prosperity. The proposed moratorium will definitely help some businesses survive, but we would encourage any directors with concerns about their company to seek professional advice at the earliest opportunity.'
We will keep you updated when we have further Government advice.