FAQs regarding COVID-19 & your Business

Q1. My business has to close temporarily, Do I have to let all my staff go?
No, they can choose to remain employed and will classify themselves as Furloughed Workers.

Q2. My business has to close temporarily, what do I pay my staff?
You will pay your staff who have classified themselves as Furloughed Workers their contracted wage and HMRC will then reimburse 80% of the wage cost of those employees, capped at £2,500 per month, for an initial period of three months. The payment will not be available until end of April 2020 but will be backdated to 1st March

Q3. My business has to close temporarily, is there any government funding available to help with this?
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced two grants to be made available to businesses impacted by coronavirus. A grant of £10,000 is to be made available to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme. Another grant of £25,000 is to be provided to companies in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors with a rateable value from £15,000 up to £51,000.

Q4. My business has to close temporarily, how will I pay my rent & rates?
You can contact your landlord and ask them to freeze your rent for a period until you think you will be able to pay again. Rate bills will not be issued until June 2020 this means no rates will be charged for April, May & June 2020, thereby reducing the 2020-21 annual rate bill by 25 per cent.

Q5. I am self-employed, is there any financial support for me?
Legislation is currently being put in place to cover 80% of Self-Employed persons earnings. This is based on the figures submitted on your last three tax returns. An average is taken of your Profit per month from Self Employment over the last three years and 80% of this will be reimbursed to you by HMRC up to a cap of £2917 per month. More information is set to be released on this in the coming days.

Q6. I cannot afford my tax bill/ I cannot make a tax payment/ how do I contact HMRC?
If you cannot afford your tax bill or cannot make a tax payment you should contact HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) Payment Support Service helpline on 0300 200 3835, which is open Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 8.00 pm; Saturday 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, excluding bank holidays.
For those who are unable to pay due to Coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore
● agreeing an instalment arrangement
● suspending debt collection proceedings
● cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

Q7. How can I get a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan?
The new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme launched on Monday 23 March, delivered by the British Business Bank. It will support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

Q8. What if I cannot file my Company Accounts on time with Companies house?
You can apply to extend your accounts deadline if you cannot send your accounts because of an event that’s outside of your control – for example, because of an unexpected illness or if a fire has destroyed company records a few days before your filing deadline.

You can apply using this link: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/extensions