To find out what coronavirus-related financial support is available for your business, check here. Otherwise, HVAC businesses may find the following support schemes applicable (please note these are not applicable to self-employed business owners):
Job Retention Scheme:The Government claim this scheme may support you in paying your employee's wages to avoid redundancies. It has been stated that HMRC will reimburse 80% of wage costs if workers have taken coronavirus-related absence, up to a cap of £2,500 per worker. Subject to the conditions of this scheme, if you elect to participate you may wish to consider designating your absent employees as 'furloughed workers' and notify them of this change, before submitting information to HMRC about your furloughed employees and their earnings via the HMRC online portal. It has been suggested that wages covered will be backdated to March 1st and it has now been extended to the end of June.
Key points: Submit any claims through the online HMRC portal for furloughed employees you wish to claim for (subject to any additional HMRC conditions and guidance).
Deferred VAT payments: Government advice (at of 26.03.2020) suggests that VAT payments due between 20th March and 30th June will be deferred for 3 months. The Government advice explains that this is automatically applied to all VAT registered businesses, implying that no applications are required and businesses will then be given until the end of the financial year in 2021 to repay these bills (but please ensure that you check the Government guidance website carefully for any changes and/or updates). If you have any questions regarding VAT payments, there is a specific HMRC helpline you can call Monday to Friday between 8:00 am - 8:00 pm and Saturdays between 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. You can contact this helpline on 0800 0159 559. Otherwise, you can speak to advisers via webchat to discuss problems with paying your taxes due to COVID-19 here.
Key points: Government advice states that your VAT payments will automatically be deferred for 3 months and directs you discuss VAT concerns on 0800 0159 559.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) relief: In accordance with the Government's advice (as of 26.03.2020) the Government website suggests that it may be possible that if you're paying out SSP for absence due to COVID-19, you'll be able to reclaim this back from the first day of absence. The refund will cover up to 2 weeks SSP per employee - with eligibility beginning from 13th March and covering those who follow advice to stay at home even if they're not sick themselves, but who cannot work as a result. Although Govenment advice suggests that employees are not required to provide a GP fit note to be eligible for SSP, as an employer you should maintain records of staff absences and any SSP payments and continue to check the Government website for any changes or updates. It's also worth noting that should evidence be required to reclaim SSP, you can advise your employees to get an isolation note via NHS 111 online, or a note from the NHS website if they are living with someone who has coronavirus symptoms. Although the process is not available yet, the Government will be working with employers over the coming months to begin repayments as soon as possible. Please note that your business must employ fewer than 250 employees to be eligible.
Key points: Record staff absences and payments of SSP, isolation notes can be obtained from NHS 111 online, only applicable for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.
Filing accounts extension: Companies House has announced that businesses will receive an extra 3 months to file their accounts. As of March 25th, Companies House state you can apply for this extension, allowing you to avoid penalties as you manage the effects of COVID-19. You can apply for the extension here, with any business citing COVID-19 as the reason for delay automatically granted the extra time. If you do not apply for this extension but file your accounts late as a result of COVID-19, you will still receive an automatic penalty. Applications take only 15 minutes to complete via the online portal.
Key points: Apply for a 3-month extension before your filing deadline and cite COVID-19 as the reason for the extension