This is a time of unparalleled change for business and the wider community. We are privileged to act as your professional advisers, and if there are matters of concern to you, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Some questions may still be under discussion at government level, but we will do our very best to help.
To help businesses remain buoyant amid falling sales and abrupt loss of income, cash in and cash out is key. There are government support measures in place, but the next few weeks, before assistance gets to business bank accounts, will be critical. The importance of up to date accounting and management information cannot be overstated, especially to use the Self-employment Income Support Scheme or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, for example.
Payment of income tax and VAT can be deferred in current circumstances. The second income tax self assessment payment on account, due for payment by 31 July 2020, can be deferred until January 2021. HMRC advises that 'deferment is optional and any persons still able to pay their second self-assessment payment on account...should still do so'. No action is needed to defer. No penalty or interest for late payment will be charged. VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, can also be deferred, again without the need to apply. This applies to any business with VAT payments due between these dates - but does not cover VAT MOSS payments. Deferred VAT must be paid on or before 31 March 2021. VAT refunds and reclaims will be dealt with by HMRC as usual, and you should continue to send in your VAT return. Those paying HMRC by direct debit, should cancel it promptly, so it isn't automatically collected when the return is filed. Where trading is significantly disrupted, VAT registration may no longer be appropriate, and we are happy to advise here. And if you are entering a period in which input tax is more than output tax, and you anticipate regular VAT refunds, you may want to think about moving to monthly VAT returns to accelerate cash flow. For the latest guidance, see https://bit.ly/2YAZiiw: information is frequently updated, though this may lessen with time.
Please be assured we are on hand to help navigate the days to come.