Weekly round-up: Covid-19 Financial Support in week 9


The ninth week summary will be fairly short and sweet – employers have been busy this week submitting their second monthly claims for the Job Retention Scheme for the month of May, and the system still seems to be holding up.  Likewise the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been receiving applications over the last week or so, so money should start being issued to claimants any day now.

This week has seen the launch of the Future Fund which is now welcoming expressions of interest into applying through the British Business Bank.  I gave some initial details about this scheme in my article here.

Businesses can apply to this scheme if they are also raising matched equity investment from third party investors, or have done in the last five years, of at least £250,000.  Looking into more detail there are certain criteria for what constitutes a “qualifying investor” which are quite involved, so if this is something you are considering for your business please do let us know if you would like some support here.  Other key conditions to qualify include:

  • Must be an unlisted UK company – if in a group only the holding company can apply.
  • EITHER more than half the turnover must be derived in the UK OR more than half of the employees must be UK based.
  • It must have been incorporated before 2020.

If eligible, the company will receive a loan of between £125,000 and £5 million from the British Business Bank at an interest rate of 8%, which is rolled up and payable at the end of the loan agreement.  At the end of the agreement the loan must either be repaid, or it will convert into shares at that stage.  There are also other occasions which might cause the loan to convert to shares, such as a sale of the business or another equity funding round.

The GOV.UK website includes a very simple eligibility checker which asks seven simple questions, and if you give the right answers you have the opportunity to sign up to receive further information about the scheme and applying.

A Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch on 26 May so that employers can reclaim up to two weeks of SSP they have had to pay out to any staff who have been absent because of Coronavirus, either because they have the virus, are self-isolating and unable to work from home, or are shielding because they’ve been advised that they are at high risk of severe illness from the virus.  This is backdated for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

Finally, some guidance has been issued about the deferral of the Income Tax payment on account normally due by 31 July 2020.  Effectively, the same as with the VAT deferral, taxpayers do not need to notify HMRC about the deferral, it is automatic and they simply don’t pay it until January 2021.  However, HMRC are advising taxpayers with Direct Debits set up for their Income Tax to cancel those as soon as possible to avoid the payment being taken as normal.

Another long weekend beckons, enjoy (safely) the bank holiday weekend!

James Geary is head of Corporate Tax and is happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have at this time – you can contact James on or 01242 776000 to arrange a call back.