With the ever changing situation surrounding COVID-19 both locally and globally we are outlining some useful information for you and your business to enable you to still provide us with the required documentation as well as some useful links for you and your business to get more information to assist you at this uncertain time.
Getting information to us.
Thanks to our secure online systems getting your information to us will remain uninterrupted. Whilst our team are not in the office we remain fully contactable via e-mail should be require any further assistance or have any questions surrounding these processes.
If we prepare VAT returns on your behalf, you will likely have a bundle of purchase invoices which will require processing. These documents can be scanned and emailed or uploaded to us .
We recommend an high resolution automatic document feeder such as the Fujitsu-scansnap-ix1500 https://www.ebuyer.com/862383-fujitsu-scansnap-ix1500-automatic-document-feeder-wireless-a4-scanner-pa03770-b001?mkwid=s_dc&pcrid=51482414939&pkw=&pmt=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsoKj8Kqf6AIVw7HtCh1SWQT-EAYYBCABEgKWuPD_BwE.
While we appreciate that there is initial capital outlay of approximately £350 (inc VAT) , we believe this outlay will be more than re-cooped in time savings in the long run.
Another benefit of scanning the information to us is that we will hold the digital copies on your behalf which means as soon as we confirm receipt the paper copies can be safely and securely disposed of.
Digital copies are now acceptable by HMRC https://www.gov.uk/keeping-your-pay-tax-records . You can of course keep the original copies if you wish.
Recently, new EU standards require that banks make the sharing of information much easier and if you have internet banking you should download your bank statements onto a digital format and send them to us or your bank can be connected to Xero using the new Open bank feeds.
The four local pillar banks are all now active on the Open Banking platform.
If you don’t have internet banking, then then please visit your Bank’s website for instructions on how to set up internet banking
If you have another information other than invoices or bank statements which you need to get to us this can be uploaded to either Iris Openspace or if you use Xero to the Xero files. If you do upload information by either of these channels please advise the relevant member you have done so by email.
We will of course continue to use Iris Openspace for electronic document approval.
Government support and advice
Various Government departments have released updated advice regarding filing requirements and payments of tax
- If you cannot file your company accounts on time https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-if-your-company-cannot-file-accounts-with-companies-house-on-time
- Guidance for Employers https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19
- Guidance for employees https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
- Support for business https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
As you will see from the Support for Business section, a new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch in a matter of weeks.
We will update this blog with more useful information as it comes also keep an eye out on the HMRC website for further updates during this period.
Banking support and advice
The four local pillar banks have also put packages of support in place to help businesses through this period and you can find out more by clicking on the relevant links below
- Danske Bank https://danskebank.co.uk/important-information/coronavirus-info
- Ulster Bank https://digital.ulsterbank.co.uk/personal/help-and-support/service-status.html
- Bank of Ireland https://www.bankofireland.com/coronavirus-update/
- First Trust Bank https://aibni.co.uk/covid19
If you or your company banks with a bank not listed above, please refer to that bank’s website for their support information.
The banks have also issued fraud and scam warnings during this period.
At times like this we always recommend that you speak to your own bank first but there are alternative sources of short-term financing available and if you would like to find out more then please contact us and we will be happy to discuss the available options with you.
Government to Pay up to 80% of workers’ wages: announced March 20th 2020.
On Friday 20th March Rishi Sunak released new measures to assist companies through this crisis.
The measures to support businesses include:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
- A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
- 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
- Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
- A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
- The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
We hope you have found this information useful and if you have any query on any aspect of the matters raised please feel free to contact your point of contact within our business.
We hope you all keep safe time and healthy during this difficult and unprecedented time.