With the world in a state of flux, it’s hard to feel on top of the latest advice and regulations. So, we thought we’d make it easy for you by bringing together some useful resources to help you address your most pressing concerns.
This article will outline some of the key changes that you should be aware of and where to find more information and support.
Changes to IR35
Last week, the Treasury confirmed that they would postpone IR35 due to the COVID-19 outbreak creating business uncertainty.
This means that businesses now have until April 2021 to address the reforms necessary which will drive major change in the contracting industry.
What is IR35?
IR35 is designed to combat tax avoidance by “disguised employees”. Under new rules, every medium and large private sector business in the UK will become liable for setting the tax status of any employee that they hire – including contract and temporary workers.
The new rules will apply to businesses with either:
Turnover of more than £10.2m / annum
With recent events spurring many companies to review their policies and contracts, now is a great time to address IR35 so that you’re prepared when the changes come in next April.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
HMRC have announced that they will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers’ wage costs up to a cap of £2,500/pm as part of their plan to support businesses during the outbreak.
Who counts as a furloughed worker?
A furloughed worker is someone who is still employed but not working. The purpose of this scheme is to help businesses to continue paying employees that would have otherwise been laid off.
Typically, your largest financial outgoing will be your monthly mortgage payment. Therefore, taking a break from your mortgage – with a mortgage holiday of up to three months – can act as welcome financial relief.
Am I Eligible?
Whether you are eligible to take a payment holiday, for how long, and the conditions you must meet depends on:
Your mortgage contract
Your financial circumstance
It is best to contact your bank directly to discuss a mortgage payment holiday with them.
Don’t be afraid to claim SSP
If you’re self-isolating because of COVID-19, you can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) of £94.25 per week.
When can I claim SSP?
New legislation has been brought forward to give you access to SSP from the first day you’re self-isolating and cannot work. This came into play on 13.03.20 and overrides the previous 4-day caveat.
Deferring VAT and Income Tax Payments
The government have announced that they will support businesses by deferring tax payments, as outlined below.
If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021
For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020
All UK businesses and self-employed individuals are eligible. There is no application required.
If you’re unsure how you should be responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, please refer to GOV.UK platform here.
There is further guidance for employees, employers and businesses here.
It is well recognised that isolation and the stress of the outbreak may be triggering for many, leading to a decline in mental health.
Discover how you should be looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak here.
The mental health charity, MIND, have also released some support and resources to help you during this time. You can access this here.
Working from Home
As the Coronavirus forces many of us to work from home, now may be a great time to refine your strategy for effective working.
Discover some tips for creating a positive environment to work from here.
You can also check out some top tips for working from home here.
More Great Resources...
If you’re looking for an interesting read – packed with invaluable insight – why not check out our blog? With the latest updates, opinion pieces and advice, there’s plenty to dig your teeth into.
Or, if want something informative to listen to whilst you’re at home, our podcast series has some great lessons of overcoming hardship to inspire you. A diverse range of founders, business owners and entrepreneurs all share their advice in our podcast series here.