Coronavirus (COVID-19) ― what your clients need to know: updated to 25 March 2020

By Tolley
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The following Owner-Managed Businesses guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) ― what your clients need to know: updated to 25 March 2020
  • Employment taxes
  • Personal taxes
  • Business taxes
  • VAT
  • Other Government assistance for businesses and individuals

The escalation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the global response of all governments to the crisis has caused significant turbulence in recent days. Travel restrictions, social distancing measures and large-scale quarantines are all having significant impact.

This note details the main tax issues that may be relevant to your clients during these difficult times, discussing relevant employment tax, personal tax, business tax and VAT issues. As would also be expected, there are also a wide range of short-term Government support initiatives now available to access and these are also detailed in this note. For Government guidance on tax issues, loans, and grants for businesses, employers and employees, see the GOV.UK website .

Matters are developing daily and this note will be kept up-to-date with all relevant events as they unfold.

This guidance note has been updated on 25 March 2020 for further detail on some VAT measures that businesses may wish to consider.

Employment taxes
Coronavirus job retention scheme

On 20 March 2020, the Government announced that it will step in and help pay people’s wages with the introduction of a ‘coronavirus job retention scheme’.

In a bid to encourage employees to ‘furlough’ staff rather than lay them off, HMRC will provide grants which the Chancellor said will cover 80% of the salary of retained furloughed workers, up to a cap of £2,500 per employee per month. We understand that the furloughed employee must undertake no work for their employer, and the 80% reimbursement would be based on previous pay.

The Government has placed no limit on the funding available for the scheme and it is open to any employer in the UK, regardless of size or sector, and covers the cost of wages backdated

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