Accountancy Blog

An update from us a result of Covid-19

To our valued clients,

In light of the ever-changing situation with Covid-19/Coronavirus, we would like to take this opportunity to extend our best wishes to you all at this time.

We know this is a worrying time for many and would like to assure you that we have contingency plans in place to ensure we can continue to provide you with your regular services. We also appreciate that many businesses are now struggling and will be in need of support. We have therefore outlined below our working practices during this period and a summary of some of the financial measures announced by the government in recent days, as well as advice that many of you may require.

Wormald & Partners/WPFS Working Arrangements

This week, we have begun a phased introduction of home-working for the vast majority of our staff. We will remain as fully operational as possible during this time.

Please be aware however that we are not holding face-to-face client meetings until Government guidance suggests otherwise and our office will be closed from 3pm on Friday 20th March. There will however be a small number of senior staff in the office until such time as the government prohibits this and we will therefore be able to take phone calls. We would request however that you email the partner/senior in charge of your case in the first instance. Our staff are also contactable via Skype and if you would like to contact us in this way please email us for the appropriate details.

We are encouraging our clients to send their documents to us electronically wherever possible. In order to assist you in this, we are offering all clients for whom we complete VAT Return or who use an online accounting platform free use of Receipt Bank during this time. If this would be of interest to you please contact us. Alternatively, we are happy to accept records by email, Dropbox, etc.

Employer/Employee Rights and Statutory Sick Pay

The government have announced various measures over recent weeks in order to assist businesses and individuals during this difficult time. We would advise all employers to read the advice provided by ACAS. This can be found here: ACAS Guidance. The government have announced that they will reimburse all small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) for the cost of providing 14 days Statutory Sick Pay for each employee. The process for reclaiming this has not yet been announced but we can assure you that we are constantly monitoring this situation.

In addition, if you have any queries relating to Employment Law or require any Human Resources advice, all of our clients have use of a specialist helpline through our partners Croner Taxwise. If you require these details then please contact us. Please bear in mind this helpline is likely to be extremely busy at the current time.

Self Employed – Statutory Sick Pay Rights

Unfortunately, the self-employed are not currently entitled to claim Statutory Sick Pay. If you are self employed and you require financial assistance, you will be able to claim one of the following allowances:

If you cannot work because you are ill/need to self-isolate – you will be able to claim Employment Support Allowance. You can find more information here: Employment Support Allowance

If your income has reduced as a result of Coronavirus but you are not ill/self-isolating – you may be able to claim Universal Credits. You can find more information here: Universal Credits

If you need any assistance whilst you are making these claims or have any queries then please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Difficulty Paying Your Tax Liability

If you are unable to pay your tax liabilities as a result of the financial strain of Coronavirus, then you should contact HM Revenue & Customs as soon as possible in order to discuss Time To Pay Arrangements with them. Unfortunately, HM revenue & Customs will not allow us to discuss this with them on your behalf, but if you need assistance with this then please do not hesitate to contact us.

HMRC Time to Pay Helpline: 0800 0159 559

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Chancellor has announced the introduction of a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to assist businesses during this time. This is expected to be available beginning the week commencing the 23rd March 2020 and will be provided via the main high-street banks. We have reached out to our contacts in the banking industry for any guidance they have on the procedures involved, but if you feel this is a facility you will require please let us know and we will keep you informed with updates on this matter as guidance is released.

In the meantime, further guidance on this can be found here: Coronavirus Business interruption Loan Scheme

Small Business Cash Grant

The government have announced a £10,000 cash grant to small businesses, which will be delivered by your local authority. Eligibility for this will be determined by your business rates liabilities. If you are eligible for this grant, you should be contacted by your local authority, there is no need to apply. This funding should be provided in early April.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Industry

The government have announced a number of measures to support clients in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure industry. A £25,000 grant will be provided to businesses in these industries who operate from premises with a rateable value between £15,000-£51,000. There will also be a business rates holiday for businesses in these sectors for the 2020 and 2021 tax years. These grants will be provided by your local authorities and further guidance will be available on this shortly. The government anticipate these grants being distributed in early April 2020.

Healthcare Industry

We would like to extend our thanks to our clients within the healthcare industry for their work combatting this virus. We appreciate the strain your businesses are currently under and if you therefore require any additional assistance from us during this period then please reach out to us.

If your company is within the healthcare sector and has an accounts filing deadline prior to 1 June 2020, we will be writing to Companies House immediately requesting an extension to your filing deadline to ensure you do not need to worry about administration matters at this time.

Company Filing Deadlines

If your company accounts are due to be filed before the end of April, and you do not believe you will be able to provide us with the relevant information to complete your accounts prior to the deadline due to the Coronavirus outbreak, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can apply to Companies House to have your deadline extended.

If you have any queries on any of the above matters or need to discuss any matters with us then please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team.

Kind Regards and Best Wishes,

Wormald & Partners