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Guidance for clients

FRAME KENNEDY

GUIDANCE FOR OUR CLIENTS – CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

In these uncertain times we wanted to reach out to all our clients to let you know we are here to offer support and guidance over the next few months.

Health and wellbeing are the most important things right now and so we have made the decision that our people will be working remotely from 24 March 2020 until further notice.

We will continue to complete your accounts, VAT, payroll and tax returns in a timely manner.

If you and your people are working remotely and / or struggling to keep your records straight then please let us know. We can install a variety of Cloud based solutions to help and if you can scan and email documents to us we can help in posting them.

If you need anything let us know. Our business depends on your business and we must all pull together during the next few weeks.

Here is a quick action plan to help focus your thoughts:

  1. Keep your eye on Government advice:  https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
  2. Your main purpose is to protect the health of yourself, employees and customers and then reduce the risk of the financial impact to your business. So you need to take action now.
  3. Hold a meeting with key team members and work through the agenda in Appendix 1.
  4. Summarise the actions and allocate responsibility to make them happen.
  5. Talk to us – we are all in this together.

We are currently updating our website and Facebook page with news when we receive it.

We also have a cashflow for your use and a self employment calculator. Unfortunately we cannot post this to the website, please email a member of staff if you wish a copy sent to you.

Best wishes and stay safe

Directors

Frame Kennedy

APPENDIX 1

Dear client,

SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN

Not all businesses are going to survive the next three months. If your customers are in isolation and cannot get to you or you cannot deliver or they cannot pay you, there is the reality of reduced or no sales for the next three or so months and even beyond if the virus remains. 

The situation we face is one we cannot change we must accept that and it’s the same for everyone – we know because our business depends on your success.

What you can do is stay healthy and ensure your loved ones are too. After all, if the business closes and you are healthy you can start again. The reverse is not true.  

The Government has stepped up to the plate and we will be letting you know how to get help in due course. We believe in planning for the worst and hoping for the best so work through the following action points. Call us immediately you see a problem in remaining viable.     

So, here’s what you need to do if your sales are going to take a hit.

  1. Stay healthy, follow the Government guidelines for you, your family, co-workers, employees and community. Work from home where you can manage administration.
  2. Work out your expenses (including salaries) for the next three months.
  3. If you are in retail – work out your breakeven point by dividing your costs by the Gross Profit margin. That’s the sales figure you must achieve to cover expenses.
  4. If you are in the service sector add your expenses to how much do you need to live on and that’s the breakeven point in terms of billings or fees you need to charge over the next three months.
  5. For hotels, pubs and restaurants contact us immediately. For manufacturers work out product sales and do the same calculation.
  6. If it looks like you are not going to be able to operate at break-even look at your cash or bank balances – have you got enough money saved to survive after paying anyone you owe money?
  7. Estimate your cash flow over the next three months, please email a member of staff to obtain a copy.
  8. If you need help in doing these calculations talk to us – we can talk you through these for you. Without the figures you cannot make clear decisions.  
  9. Once you have a grasp on your figures and you consider you have a “viable” business ( can you survive for the next 3 months):
    1. There is Government support and we will provide you the information and guidance on how to apply to this help and if you qualify.
    1. Talk to your bank if you have loans or an overdraft. They will be supportive of viable businesses.
    1. Get your members of staff involved in a discussion of likely trading conditions and get their input on reducing costs and maintaining revenues.
    1. Review your list of products and services and eliminate those that are unprofitable or not core products/services.
    1. Get rid of won’t pay customers.
    1. Review your debtors list and chase up overdue invoices (if appropriate).
    1. Offer existing debtors extended payment terms and/or discounts.
    1. Agree extended payment terms with all suppliers in advance.
    1. Put extra effort into making sure your relationships with your better customers are solid.
  1. If your business is not viable – talk to us and we will run through the options.

Above all stay strong! Remember your health and welfare is more important than anything else just now. We will help you every step of the way. Together we will beat this!

GRANT SUPPORT FACTSHEET

GRANTS UNDER THE SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME (CSEISS) –

Written 30 March 2020

Note: Please see the ‘Self-Employment Income Support Calculator’ to check eligibility and calculate the amount of grant available. A copy can be obtained by emailing a member of our staff.

On 26 March 2020 the Chancellor announced a new grant scheme available to the self-employed and members of partnerships and have lost income due to coronavirus.

This factsheet is based on the limited details announced by HMRC as at 30 March 2020.

Broadly the new scheme will allow self-employed taxpayer to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Note that the scheme does not apply to company directors who should be able to claim support using the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme. This would only cover their salary however.

Who is eligible

The scheme is available to self-employed individuals and members of a partnership who satisfy all of the following conditions:

  1. They have submitted their Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19
  2. Have traded in the tax year 2019/20
  3. Are trading when they apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  4. They intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/21
  5. They have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Thus someone who commenced self-employment in 2019/20 would not be eligible for a grant under the proposed rules.

The self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of the taxpayer’s income must come from self-employment.

At least one of the following conditions must be satisfied:

  1. Trading profits/share of partnership trading profits in 2018/19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of the taxpayer’s total taxable income, OR
  2. Average trading profits in 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of the taxpayer’s average taxable income in the same period

If trading commenced between 6 April 2016 and 5 April 2019, HMRC will only use those years for which a Self-Assessment tax return has been filed.

‘Self-employed profits’ have not been defined but we assume that this refers to the net profit as shown on the self-assessment tax return for the year in question.

It is assumed that ‘income’ refers to total income before deducting the taxpayer’s personal allowance and would include all sources of taxable income including employment income, pensions and property income.

For those who have not submitted their Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19, they must do so by 23 April 2020 to qualify.

HMRC will use data on 2018/19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

Amount of Grant Available

The taxable grant will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

  • 2016/17
  • 2017/18
  • 2018/19

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount. Where the trade commenced in that period it is assumed that the average will be computed on a pro-rata basis.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

The grant will be paid directly into taxpayers bank accounts, in one instalment.

Taxpayers will need to include the grant in their income for tax credit purposes.

How to apply

Taxpayers cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact taxpayers directly if they are eligible for the scheme and invite them to apply online.

Once HMRC has received the claim and the taxpayer is eligible for the grant, they will contact them to tell them how much they will get and the payment details.

The HMRC guidance alerts taxpayers to beware of scams from people purporting to be from HMRC and requesting the taxpayers name, credit card or bank details.

Other help you can get

The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:

  • Deferral of income tax payment on account due on 31 July 2020
  • Deferral of VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • Grants to businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • Increased amounts of Universal credit
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme

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