Summary of practical help announced by the government

This is a quick summary of practical help announced by the government.

You can read the latest advice and guidance from government for businesses on its coronavirus pages

The COVID-19 situation is evolving each day. We will keep you posted of any further notices affecting businesses as and when they are announced.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This is the main thing we are being asked about, currently the details are still pretty vague but we will update all of our clients as soon as more information is made available.

All businesses

VAT Deferral for 3 months for businesses

At the moment HMRC have said that payments due between 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 may be deferred.

If you normally pay by direct debit, but wish to take up the deferment, you should cancel the direct debit in sufficient time with your bank, otherwise, HMRC will still automatically attempt to collect it on receipt of the VAT return.

The deferral only applies to payment of VAT. You should continue to file VAT returns by your normal due date to avoid late filing penalties. However, if you are unable to file a return on time due to COVID-19 we expect such circumstances to count as a “reasonable excuse” for late filing. But the timeframe for using this as a reasonable excuse will be the actual time of sickness and not the duration of the pandemic.

Time to Pay – 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.


Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed under the Self-Assessment System until January 2021.

We are expecting further announcements of support for the self-employed this week. We will post updates as soon as we know.

Small businesses

Cash grants for small businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief. Find out more here.

Small and medium businesses

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which will help businesses affected to access bank lending and overdrafts if they need to. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee for each loan. You should contact your own bank about this.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for staff absence due to coronavirus.

Large businesses

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors in England for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more.

Up to £25,000 per property Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure. Find out more here.

Nursery businesses

Business rates holiday for nurseries for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses should contact their local authority with any questions they may have about the scheme.

Welsh Government support for businesses

Because some aspects of business support are devolved, the Welsh Government has set out a range of support measures

Check the business support website for answers to frequently asked questions.