OnPoint Accounting News – 20th May – SEISS, Cashflow and SSP
Hello, and welcome to this latest news update from OnPoint Accounting for small businesses across the UK. My name Johann Goree, I’m the Managing Director of OnPoint Accounting. We’re an accounting and bookkeeping firm based in Scotland, but supporting clients across the UK. The areas we’re going to cover in this news update today are the Income Support Scheme for the self-employed, the Statutory Sick Pay Scheme that’s launching on the 22nd of May, and how we’re preparing for when we come out of lockdown as a small businesses.
So the Self-employed Income Support Scheme has been running for about a week now. If you’ve not received any communications from HMRC about applying, then I strongly recommend visiting the HMRC website and searching for self-employed income support scheme, HMRC in Google, that will bring up the link. You need to go and find and start the application process, regardless of whether you’ve had communications from HMRC or not. I strongly advise doing that. The application has been very simple. Everyone’s been able to do it so far that we’ve spoken to the only details you need are the UTR and national insurance number and your government gateway login details. If you’ve not got government gateway log in, that’s not an issue. You can create one at the time of application. Accountants and bookkeepers can’t do this process for you. You do need to log in yourself and do it. But as I say, it’s been very simple. And to date, all monies have been paid out within six working days of application.
So if you get that done today, you can have money by the end of this month, the statutory sick pay scheme had a update this week. So HMRC have built a new application for refunds of statutory sick pay that employers have made to employees that have been on longterm sick. This has been a support scheme. That’s been in place from day one of the lockdown and HMRC will be refunding any statue sick paid, paid out by employers to employees for day one onwards of their sick due to Coronavirus. The portal to make this claim will be launched on the 26th of May 2020, and HMRC have been issuing more updates on this in the last week. As we get the final details and confirmed process of application, we’ll update you in a new update, but the main news for this week is that that will be available from the 26th of May and the refunds would pay directly to your bank account and not credited against your payee account, which they do traditionally do.
Boris Johnson last week announced a roadmap of how he sees the UK, more specifically England, exiting of the lockdown and businesses and the economy starting back up again. As of now, we can do more exercise. And as of the 1st of June, they’re hoping to open more retail facilities. And as of the 1st of July, in England, they’re hoping to open more hospitality and tourism facilities. Now these dates and roadmap is going to be very different for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
On Thursday, the 21st of May, we’re expecting an update for Nicola Sturgeon for the First Minister of Scotland regarding a roadmap for exiting lockdown for Scotland. We’re not sure quite what this is going to look like, but we’re expecting it to take affect from the 28th of May. And we can safely assume there’ll be a delay compared to the date in England. That Boris Johnson announced last week.
Once we get this news for who can open and when roughly, depending on the Coronavirus case numbers, we’ll obviously cover this, but in the meantime, now we’re starting to look at roadmaps. Now’s a really good time to start planning for your business reopening. We need to take into consideration anything such as health and safety of our staff and our customers. So risk assessments need to be carried out. We need to look at how we’re going to safely operate with social distancing in mind. And we’re going to look, we also need to look at cashflow and costs of running the business. There are some businesses out there that due to the social distancing rule, reopening straight away will not be a cost effective solution, or will actually cost more to open than it will to be closed. With this in mind, it’s really important that business owners start looking at their cashflow and consider their options and different scenarios.
I did a really helpful video this week for a software called Float. It talks to QuickBooks, Xero, and FreeAgent. It will connect to them, pull out all your data and help you forecast and plan and create
various scenarios for the exit of Coronavirus. I’ll put the link to that video in the description of this video. So people can go find that nice and easily. But I strongly recommend whether you are using a software or just an Excel spreadsheet, or even a piece of paper, start planning a few different scenarios, so that you can work out how many staff you need to bring back. And if it is cost effective for you to open up and run in the next few weeks, or if you need to wait until the social distancing rules are relaxed. So that you can then open and serve more customers, allowing it to be more cost effective to your operation.
Just as the last point for this video in the next week, we’re expecting a furlough update from the Chancellor of the UK. This update will tell us what rules are going to be in place from August to October of 2020 and how that’s going to look.
So for now, furlough remains the same rules. Once you furloughed someone, they cannot work for you under any disguise. They are furloughed, and must stay furloughed, unless you bring them back. We’ve seen nearly 800 cases reported to HRMC of employers committing fraud through the furlough system. Where they are paying employees, furlough money, but expecting them still to work. So HMRC are not going to look kindly on this and they are going to be investigating all of these cases. So please stick to the furlough rules. If you have a furloughed to staff member, they are furloughed full time. They can go and work for other employers, they can go and do voluntary jobs, but they cannot carry out any work for you.
So that’s it for this video, we’ll make sure we bring you an updated video once we get more news regarding the furlough scheme. But in the meantime, if you need any more support or advice, please follow us at OnPoint Accounting’s Facebook page, facebook.com/jgbc.co.uk. You can find us at our website, jgbc.co.uk. And of course, if you want any more updates on when we do new videos, make sure you subscribe to our channel and like this video, if you found it helpful. So we need to keep producing them. Thank you very much. Stay safe and be proud.