Coronavirus Job Scheme, VAT and Self-Assessment information

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a further range of business support measures yesterday evening to help struggling businesses amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The measures have been widely reported on social media and in news reports. Last night, the Government issued further detail behind the new supports (

Additional detail is still to come forward from London and Stormont; for now, we know the following on the measures:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. The support is 80% of salaries up to £2,500 per month. The support will be backdated to 1 March and the first payments to employers will be paid at the end of April. This scheme will run for three months initially. Employees will have to be designated as “furloughed workers”; we expect further information on this designation and the process for claiming in the next few days. This is very welcome news for all employers at this very difficult time.

  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

VAT due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 will be deferred automatically (no application required); any liabilities that build up in that period will have to be paid before 5th April 2021.

Similarly, self-assessment payments on account due on 31 July 2020 are also deferred automatically (no application required) – in this case to 31 January 2021.

  • Support for the self-employed

There has been very limited new support announced for the self-employed and those outside the PAYE net. The Government has promised that additional announcements will be made. If you are self-employed and have queries on how you can access support, get in touch with us and we can guide you.

With regard to measures announced in the past two weeks, we can provide some more detail:

  • Business Support Grants (£10k – £25k) – it has been reported locally that these will be paid out to businesses this incoming week by cheque. There has been no confirmation on this as yet – once we hear any more, we will update you. This grant is linked to businesses registered for business rates (within certain bands). It is therefore not guaranteed for all businesses.
  • Business Interruption Loans – we have been speaking to all the main NI banks this week and it is expected that each bank’s process for customers who wish to apply for these loans will be issued very early this incoming week. We have no further detail as of this morning; we do, however, expect that applications will have to be supported by up to date financial information and some level of business projections, the level of information required will depend on the level of support being requested . Once we hear more, we will be in touch.
  • SSP reclaim – we are awaiting information on the new reclaim process.
  • Time to Pay arrangements – HMRC coronavirus helplines were extremely busy since Wednesday morning. We will continue to liaise with this team this incoming week.

We continue to be available to you at this difficult time. Call us on 028 8772 4697 or send us an email at any stage and we will respond.

Take care, please practice social distancing and keep safe.


We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this information.

No action should be taken on the contents of this publication without seeking professional advice. If you plan to act as a result of the information herein you must speak to us in advance. No responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this summary will be accepted by Gildernew & Co. Ltd, its Principal or staff.


Posted on March 21, 2020