APH Accountants COVID-19 Business Support Update 28/04/20
Hopefully cabin fever hasn’t set in for everyone yet! Boris is now back and in need of a haircut more than ever. A more positive news conference yesterday morning with potential talks about planning for Phase 2 and how to come out of the lockdown. Be a while yet I assume but at least there is a sniff of it in the air.
Whilst we are still in the midst of the dash for the cash with furlough claims for Employers, which will be swiftly followed by claims for the Self-Employed Income Support Grant, Rishi has announced a real lifeline to small businesses with the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan, more details below, and yes within minutes of that being announced me old mate Colin was back on the phone with a question or two.
APH have now received the business rates cash grant of £10,000 as have many others, which is great news. At APH we have invested this money into making the furlough claims on your behalf free of charge and will today finish of making any claims for past periods, see below for more info on this. We will continue to support all clients Corona Virus related claims for as long as possible, free of charge.
Anyway, time for that coffee or cup of tea yet again, sit back, relax and enjoy the read!
As always we’re doing our level best to answer every single query – but if we have missed anything please do get in touch. Contact details are below.
Office Number: 0151 630 4542
Paul White: 0151 556 7247
Helen White: 0151 556 7241
Matt Newman: 0151 556 7246
Carla Ashley: 0151 556 7244
Kerry Roe: 0151 556 7240
Dave Parry: 0151 556 7245
Danielle Levy: 0151 556 7243
Katy Holmes: 0151 556 7249
Lauri Murphy: 0151 556 7248
- Furlough Claims for Employers
- Self-Employed Income Support Grant
- Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
- Help Needed
- Client Shoutout – Alternative Approach Ltd
- Scam Alert
1. Furlough Claims for Employers
We have now made several hundred furlough claims on behalf of clients. It’s been one heck of a week trying to catch up with all the claims but by the close of play today I am hoping we will be up to date.
We have now been in touch with every client to obtain all the relevant details we need with regards to your furlough claims. I am hoping that at the time of writing that you will be starting to receive the much-needed funds into your accounts from today.
Over the course of this week anything we processed last week should start getting paid into your bank accounts. Last week we processed claims for:
- Week 51 for weekly paid employees
- Week 52 for Weekly paid employees
- March 20 for monthly paid employees
Hopefully you will receive the funds for these claims this week at some point
Today and over the weekend just gone, we have processed claims for:
- Weeks 1-3 of the new tax year for weekly paid employees
- April 20 for monthly paid employees
Hopefully you will receive the funds for these claims early next week.
It was unclear during the claim process what Bank address HMRC required for making claims, whether it was the address of the actual bank, the address the statements went to or the business registered office address or the trading address. Therefore, we made our best guess as to what address they needed. However, it seems to be the case that even with the wrong address HMRC are still making payouts after admitting in a tweet that it was an ambiguous request.
We will keep the records of how the calculations for the claims have been made as they may be required by HMRC to check at some future point. Might be best to read “May Be” as “Will Be”!
We will process claims for Weekly Payroll on a weekly basis to ensure the money comes out to you as quickly as possible.
May Payroll will probably be claimed on the Monday before the last Friday of May. Hopefully getting the money out to you in time for May payroll payments.
Due to the sheer volume of information required to make the claims, the speed at which they needed doing, the amount of people we needed to contact etc, then no doubt there may be some errors on the claims for whatever reason.
Therefore, if you haven’t received your claim money after 8 days please let us know.
If could be delayed over something as simple as a wrong digit on a bank sort code or account number – either entered by us incorrectly or supplied to us incorrectly.
We are not sure what the process is yet for correcting any errors on submissions but if we are notified of any then we will do our best to get the issue resolved as soon as possible.
IMPORTANT – UNFURLOUGHING OF EMPLOYEES
You must notify us immediately and in advance of making any claims on your behalf, when an employee is un-furloughed. As stated above we do not know a procedure yet for correcting any submitted claims so please help us to help you by providing the information we need as soon as possible to ensure an accurate claim is made.
Conversely please notify us as soon as possible if anyone needs furlough after 30th April as we will have made claims up to that date for monthly paid employees and 24th April for Weekly paid employees.
2. Self-Employed Income Support Grant
If you are classed as self-employed then the scheme for claiming the grant is not open yet.
HMRC are advising the scheme will be open approximately Mid-May with payments being made in early June. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. It will be available for 3 months but may be extended.
Full details of the scheme can be found at the link below – please take the time to read it https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
How to claim
HMRC will aim to contact you by mid May 2020 if you’re eligible for the scheme and invite you to claim using the GOV.UK online service.
Therefore, you can either set up your own government account now or wait to see if your agents (us) are allowed to make the claim on your behalf.
To set up your own government gateway account (also handy for checking your NI Contributions and likely State Pension amongst other things) please click on the link below https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account/sign-in/prove-identity
As soon as we know a more detailed process for making claims we will let you know immediately.
If we are allowed to make the claim on your behalf please look out for information requests from us and respond as soon as possible. Most likely we will be asking for bank details so HMRC know where to make payment of the claims to.
3. Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
I must admit I am impressed that the government have done this and it will be an enormous help to many businesses and in general is a great idea. Whilst it could be argued that a lot of businesses are getting grants, the lifeline for some will be in the form of debt, Debt isn’t an ideal solution but it could well save a viable business in the short term.
Small businesses have always been heavily restricted getting loans despite all the headlines of money being available, the process has always been onerous, time consuming and inherent with risk in that most business owners have to give personal guarantees.
Well I am glad to say that this is about to change with the introduction of the bounce back loan. As soon as it was announced Colin was straight on the phone with some questions of his own!
Q. Hi Mate, is it true about these loans, how much can I get?
A. Hi Col, Can I phone you back in 10 mins I am just having me tea and watching the end of Rishi’s sentence about it.
Q. Hi Mate, you finished your tea?
A. Just, what do you need to know about the loan?
Q. How much do you think we can get?
A. First question to ask yourself is do you need one and what will it be for?
Q. Well I am hoping it will help with managing my cashflow and I want to invest in the future of my business for when the lockdown is over.
A. That’s a great idea and positive thinking about investing in your business
Q. So how much is available?
A. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be capped at 25 per cent of turnover (Before VAT I assume)
Q. Wow, happy days? Are you sure?
A. That’s what they are claiming, be great if that’s the case
Q. No such thing as a free lunch though is there, what’s it going to cost?
A. Well perhaps there is such a thing! The Loans will be:
- 100% Government backed – therefore no personal guarantees needed
- No Interest for 12 months
- And get this, no repayments for the first 12 months either!
- And it’s available to Sole Traders, Ltd Co’s, Micro Firms and entrepreneurs
Q. How long is the loan term for and what’s the interest rate going to be after the initial 12 months period
A. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan, so it’s not clear yet what the interest rate will be, but I assume it will be very reasonable to help businesses. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders as yet unknown.
Q. That’s great, but I have applied for business loans before and you normally have to jump through hoops and lose the will to live in the process. How is this one going to work
A. Apparently it will be a fast track process of applying online in a short standard form, possibly a couple of pages long, with the intention of getting the money out to applicants in a matter of days.
Q. This sounds too good to true, what’s the eligibility criteria?
A. You can apply for a loan if your business:
- Is based in the UK
- Has been negatively affected by the coronavirus
- Was not a business in difficulty on the 31st Dec 2019
Q. How do I apply then?
A. Hold ya horses there Tonto, the scheme doesn’t open till the 4th May by which time more details will emerge, as soon as they do, I will let you know.
Q. What should I do in the meantime?
A. Might be worth you looking at your cashflow and thinking about how much of a loan you need and what you need it for. There is no point in getting a loan for the sake of getting a loan
Q. Ok great, thanks!, You up to anything tonight?
A. Col, it’s midnight, I’m going to bed.
4. Help Needed
Like everyone else our business has suffered during this crisis. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with talks about Phase 2 coming out of the lockdown about to commence.
With that in mind all of us as business owners need to start thinking about how we get our businesses back on track.
We have set up a Facebook group called APH Accountants Business Community Group. Please come join this group to help and support clients of APH get their business back on track by sharing ideas, experiences, have a moan, have a gripe, share a failure, share a success, make a joke or just curtain twitch if necessary!
We have prided ourselves on providing as much help and support as has been humanly possible on anything Coronavirus related. We are trying to do as much as possible free of charge as we are in enough trouble as it is, without adding to people’s burdens.
Many accountants have disappeared, gone quiet, gone bust even. We have stood tall and faced an onslaught of questions and queries over the packages of business support made available by the government. We have worked around the clock to get the claims done for you and still face a mountain of work over the coming months. Hopefully our help will help you and your business make it through this crisis.
I would like to ask for your help now though:
- If you know anyone looking for an Accountant please recommend us
- Please like and share our business page on Facebook by clicking here
- Please visit our website here and have a look round – put names to faces if need be on our meet the team page
- Refer us to someone else you know in business whose Accountant seems to have gone AWOL during Covid-19
If you can do one of those things above then it will help our business through this crisis. It won’t cost money just a bit of time, at a time when we have time! Any of the above would be appreciated and keep us all motivated to carry on with making the claims on your behalf.
5. Client Shoutout – Alternative Approach Ltd
Alternative Approach is a private supported living provider aiming to deliver high quality support packages for young people aged 16 – 18 including care leavers.
They are a fantastic business, run by three remarkable individuals who care about the people in their care.
They are currently looking for business owners for their partnership programme, a great way of getting young people into business and maybe giving you an extra unpaid pair of hands free of charge!
Alternative Approach Employer Partnership Programme offers Young Adults aged 16-18 the opportunity to enrol on one of their Traineeships.
On their programmes each person is allocated a work placement within a Specific Industry sector employer (Partner Employer) in line with their career interests and aspirations. These placements can last up to six months and will also include an Employability and Self Development programme along with CPD & Vocational Training (where applicable) placement.
They are looking for local Companies/ Employers to become Partners within this Programme, to Provide Quality placements, to offer real life experience in a work environment for our young people to help them on their journey to success. This will not cost you as an Employer (no salary to trainee).
Traineeships give Employers the opportunity to identify through the placements, good, young, capable & reliable potential future Employees which they have effectively trained up into “the ideal candidate” for their Company. This could potentially lead to a more robust recruitment process which could hopefully result in successful Apprenticeships or Employment.
If you are interested in learning more about Alternative Approach’s Traineeships and becoming an Alternative Approach Partner Employer please email them at
6. Scam Alert
If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam.
If you are un-sure please speak to us first. (Thanks to Jon Cross for the below alert)
That’s all for now folks – If you can think of any other information you need from us or would like further clarification on, please let us know and we can provide it in future Newsletters.