Useful Information - 2020

30/11/2020 - Third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant

Applications are now open for the third SEISS grant to support self-employed people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The rules on who is eligible to claim are different to those for the previous SEISS grants. However, a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 showing self-employment income (unless one of the existing exceptions applies) will still need to have been submitted in order to claim.

The third grant will be based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single taxable instalment capped at £7,500, and will cover the period from 1 November to 29 January 2021. Self-employed people who are eligible will be able to claim the third grant at any time from 30 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.

As previously, the third grant will also be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must be reported on 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax returns, due by 31 January 2022.

Who is eligible

To make a claim for the third grant, you must meet a number of conditions, and make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your trading profits will be significantly reduced due to coronavirus.

As previously, the third grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must also be reported on 2020-2021 Self Assessment tax returns.

To make a claim for the third grant, you must – as previously:

  • be self-employed or a member of a partnership – you cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust;
  • have traded in both the tax years 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.

For this third SEISS grant you must also now:

  • either be currently trading but are impacted by reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or have been previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus;
  • declare that you intend to continue to trade, or restart trading, and that you reasonably believe that the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits;
  • only claim if the reduction in profits is caused by reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or inability to trade due to coronavirus – reduction in profits due to increased costs (such as having to buy masks) does not make a business eligible for the third SEISS grant.

When deciding whether the reduction is significant, you will need to consider their wider business circumstances.

HMRC expect claimants to make an honest assessment about whether they reasonably believe their trading profits will be significantly reduced compared to what they would otherwise expect to achieve during this period.

Their business must have been impacted on or after 1 November 2020. You must keep evidence that shows how their business has been impacted by coronavirus, resulting in reduced activity, capacity or demand, or a temporary inability to trade.

For further informaion see

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - GOV.UK (

26/11/2020 - 2021 National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates

Yesterday (25/11/20) the Government announced the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates which will come into force from April 2021. It accepted in full recommendations made by the Low Pay Commission at the end of October.

Workers aged 23-24 years old will receive a substantial pay rise of almost 9%.

2021 National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates

22/11/2020 - Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)

The application portal opened on Friday for businesses in Torbay to apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and the Additional restrictions Grant (ARG).

20/11/2020 - Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus

Unfortunately the £1000.00 Job Retention Bonus (JRB) for each employee previously furloughed and kept in employment to the end of January 2021 will not be paid in February 2021 and a retention incentive will be deployed at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is now being extended to 31 March 2021, the policy intent of the JRB no longer applies.

06/11/2020 - More updates to the CJRS and SEISS

The CRJS has now been extended until March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their salary for hours not worked.  The employer contributions will be reviewed in January but until then the employer will only cover NI and Pension contributions

The SEISS rate has been increased again so the self-employed can claim 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7500 for the third grant covering November 2020 to January 2021.

03/11/2020 - SEISS and CBILS updates

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

To reflect the recent changes to the Furlough Scheme the SEISS third claim will be more generous and will be increased to 80% of the average trading profits for the month of November. 

The claim opening date will also be brought forward from 14th December 2020 to the 30th November 2020.

Government backed Loan Schemes

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) application period has been extended to the 31st January 2021.

Bounce Back Loan Top ups are also allowed if you have already received a bounce back loan but haven’t borrowed the full 25% of annual turnover.

01/11/2020 - Lockdown 2.0

Well haven’t things changed over the weekend!  As we move back into lockdown over the next few days there are going to be a lot of questions which unfortunately quite a few will be unanswered at this stage.

In what is a continually changing situation this is what we know so far…


The government have extended the Furlough scheme and it is more generous than it was in October.


  • 80% wage for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500.
  • Employer will cover any hours worked.
  • Employer will have to pay any employer national insurance contributions due and any employer pension contributions.
  • Employees must have been within the PAYE scheme in the latest real time information submission prior to 30th October 2020.
  • The claim process will continue as previous months.


Business Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:


  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
  • The claim process has not yet been defined.

Discretionary Grants

Local councils will be provided some funds to provide descretionary grants to impacted business.  Very little is known about this at this stage.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.


  • The first grant will provide a taxable amount covering 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total
  • The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.


Mortgage Holidays

Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

28/10/2020 - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme replacement

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ceases on the 31st October 2020.  A new scheme has been introduced that can be used and is called the Job Support Scheme

If your business is still operating but you have reduced your employees’ working hours due to decreased demand and need financial support to cover some of your employee’s wages, you maybe able to claim under the Job Support Scheme Open.

Key points of the scheme:

1) It applies to viable jobs only

  • Employees must work a minimum of 20% of their normal working hours and will receive at least 73% of their normal pay.
  • The 20% of the normal hours worked will be paid as normal by the employer as this would have been worked.
  • The remaining 80% will be split between the employer, the government and the employee.  The government contribution will be 61.67% and is capped at £1541.75 per month.  The employer contribution will be 5% and is capped at £125 per month.
  • Example: employee normally earns £1,500 per month, they work 20% of their hours and get paid £300 as normal pay plus £60 from their employer and £740 from the government and the employee sacrifices £400.  Employee receives £1,100 for the month subject to the normal deductions.

2) Larger businesses are only entitled to use the scheme if they can prove revenue has been adversely affected by COVID-19.

3) Employers who didn’t use the CJRS can use the new scheme.

4) Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period they are being claimed for through the scheme.

5) Employee’s must have been on the employers PAYE scheme on or prior to 23rd September 2020.

6) Employers must agree the new short-time working arrangements with staff and make amendments to the employment contract and notify the employee in writing.

7) Government will review the minimum hours worked requirement after three months and may increase the working hours threshold.

8) Employees can be cycled on and off the scheme and do not have to be working the same pattern each month, but each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum of 7 days.

9) Employers can top up the employee’s wages at their own expense.

    The Job Support Scheme opens on the 1st November 2020 and will last for six months until April 2021.  As with the CJRS payments will be made to the employers in arrears and the business will be required to pay the Governments contribution before being reimbursed.  The claim portal will be available from December.  The scheme does not cover employer NI and pension contributions and these remain payable by the employer. Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

    10/07/2020 - Coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

    The Discretionary Grant Fund has been set up to support small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.


    The maximum grant amount through this scheme is £25,000.


    You may be eligible if your business:

    • is based in England;
    • has relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs;
    • occupies property (or part of a property) with a rateable value or annual mortgage/rent payments below £51,000;
    • was trading on 11 March 2020;


    You will need to show that your business has suffered a significant fall in income due to COVID-19.


    Local councils have been asked to prioritise businesses such as:

    • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks or incubators;
    • regular market traders;
    • bed and breakfasts paying council tax instead of business rates;
    • charity properties getting charitable business rates relief, which are not eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief;


    Individual councils have discretion on how to prioritise the funding available so you will need to check with your council for details of their scheme.

    You cannot apply if your business is in administration, insolvent or has received a striking-off notice.

    09/07/2020 - Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Second Grant

    The SEISS has been extended until the 19th October 2020.  You will be able to make the second and final claim from the 17th August 2020.


    To qualify for the second SEISS grant your business must be adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14th July 2020.


    Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:


    • you’re unable to work because you:
      • are shielding
      • are self-isolating
      • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
      • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus


    • you’ve had to scale down, temporarily stop trading or incurred additional costs because:
      • your supply chain has been interrupted
      • you have fewer or no customers or clients
      • your staff are unable to come in to work
      • one or more of your contracts have been cancelled
      • you had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules


    The criteria for making a claim is the same for both grants.


    The second grant will be 70% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment for the three-month period and will be capped at £6,570 total.


    An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant as they may only have been adversely affected by COVID-19 in this later phase.

    08/07/2020 - Summer Budget Update

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    To be phased out over the next few months and ends on the 31st October as originally announced.

    An additional incentive for employers to bring back employees from furlough is that they will receive a £1,000 bonus per employee. This is conditional on the employee:-

    • being paid at least £520 per month in November, December and January.
    • They have been furloughed at any point and claimed for under the CJRS.
    • Continuously employed through to at least 31st January 2021

    Employers will be able to make the claims in February 2021 once accurate RTI data up to the 31st January is received by HMRC.

    More information on this scheme will be available by the 31st July 2020.


    Kickstart scheme

    Kickstart scheme is for employers who create new jobs for any 16-24 year olds at risk of unemployment.

    The government Kickstart scheme will pay the wages for six months and an amount for overheads.  This could give employers a grant of around £6,500 for each employee taken on. Funding will be conditional on it being a new job, paid at national minimum wage and be for at least 25 hours a week.

    Employers will be able to apply for the scheme from next month, with the first Kickstarter’s in jobs in the autumn.

    The government will pay employers £1,000 to take on new trainees.

    For the next six months employers who create new apprenticeships will get a grant of up to £2,000 per apprentice hired under 25. For apprentices over 25 up to £1,500.

    Providing additional funding to Department for Work and Pensions to fund additional support to help those on universal credit get back into work

    Green jobs

    From September homeowners/landlords will be able to apply for vouchers to make housing more energy efficient and to create local jobs.

    The government will cover two thirds of the cost up to £5,000 per household, and up to £10,000 for those on low incomes.

    Stamp duty cut

    To boost the housing market the stamp duty threshold will temporarily rise until 31st March 2021 from £125,000 to £500,000.

    Hospitality sector

    VAT cut for six months from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021 reducing the rate from 20% to 5%. The VAT cut will be applied to food, non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation, eat in or hot takeaways, cinemas, zoos and theme parks.

    The introduction of the “eat out to help out” discount throughout August 2020.

    Discount will apply to meals eaten at any participating business on Monday to Wednesday and will be 50% off (maximum of £10) per head. The government will open a website where businesses can register for the scheme online, with the funds they claim back paid within five working days.

    07/06/2020 - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    Closure of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to new entrants

    From 1 July onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have previously furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June. Accordingly, any employer who has not already done so but wishes to place an employee on the CJRS must do so by 10 June 2020. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.


    From 1 July claim periods will no longer be able to overlap months: employers who previously had submitted claims which had periods which overlapped calendar months will no longer be able to do this going forwards.


    Employer costs going forwards

    The level of grant available to employers under Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be slowly changing to reflect that people will be returning to work.

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme -  Employer costs going forwards - June 2020 Version

    Flexible Furlough

    What does ‘flexible furlough’ mean?

    At present, employees on furlough are not permitted to do any work for their employer’s business. However, from 1 July 2020 businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part-time. Employers can agree with their employees the hours and shifts their employees will work on their return.

    Employers can still claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the hours the employee is not working. Employees can still continue on full furlough and there is no requirement to provide employees with work, if the employer is not in a position to do so.

    What should an employer pay an employee on flexible furlough for the hours they are working?

    Employers will be responsible for paying full wages in respect of those hours when the employee is working but will be able to claim under the scheme in respect of that part of their normal working hours on which the employee is not working. Employers will need to submit information on the usual versus actual hours worked by an employee in a claim period. The cap will be proportional to the hours not worked.

    Further detailed guidance on how to calculate claims following the introduction of flexible furlough will be released on 12 June.

    How should flexible furlough be agreed?

    Employers will have to agree any new flexible furloughing arrangement with their employees and confirm that agreement in writing.

    05/05/2020 - Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

    The ‘Self-Employment Income Support’ Scheme will be going live in the next few days.

    The government are currently recommending that you log in to the Government Gateway and ensure that your contact details are up to date so they can contact and send reminders.  To access the Government Gateway you will need your Government Gateway ID, Password and your National Insurance number

    Full details are available on the website.

    05/05/2020 - Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

    The ‘Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan’ scheme went live yesterday (4th May 2020) enabling businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 at an interest rate of 2.5% but with no interest or fees to pay for the first 12 months.  These loans are 100% government backed and lenders are not permitted to take any form of personal guarantee. 

    General Overview

    The British Business Bank website provides a full overview and all the information you would require to apply.

    10/04/2020 - HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim portal

    The portal which HRMC are going to provide to enable companies to reclaim monies paid under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for Furloughed employees is currently being tested with selected business and HMRC has announced that the portal is currently planned to go live on the 20th April 2020.

    31/03/2020 - Teignbridge business grants application form

    The application for the business grants is now online for the Teignbridge area. 

    You can access this by following the link:-

    28/03/2020 - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    As initially thought the government have now confirmed that Directors of their own company who are paid through PAYE can be furloughed and can claim the 80% through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme providing the eligibility criteria is met.  They can only claim against the monies paid through PAYE they can not claim for dividends or other benefits.

    28/03/2020 - Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

    This scheme is to support self-employed people and partnerships that have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Your self-employed trading profits must be below £50,000 and must be more than half of your taxable earnings.


    The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for up to 3 months.  This has been designed to fall in line with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme offered to people paid through a PAYE scheme.


    To be eligible to claim you must

    • have submitted a 2018/2019 Tax return
    • been trading during 2019/2020 (exception of the period due to COVID-19)
    • intend to continue to trade in 2020/2021
    • have lost income due to the coronavirus.


    If you are eligible then the support package will be calculated based on an average of the previous three years self-employed profit submitted to HMRC on your tax return.  If you have been trading for less than the three years then the average will be based on whatever has been submitted to HMRC.


    Unfortunately, if you have been trading for less than a year (2019/2020 tax year) and have not submitted a self-employed tax return to HMRC then you will not be eligible and will need to use the welfare system.


    HMRC will contact those individuals eligible for the scheme and invite you to complete an application.

    23/03/2020 - 12 month business rate relief holiday extended to the nursery sector

    To benefit from this the property needs to be:

    • Based in England
    • Occupied by providers on the Ofsted Early years Register
    • Wholly/Mainly used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage


    No action will be required as the adjustment will automatically be applied on your April 2020 council tax bill.  If this has already been received a new one will be issued showing the adjustment.

    23/03/2020 - Update on the temporary suspension of VAT return payments to HMRC between 20th March – 30th June 2020

    The submission of VAT returns during this period is still required by the due date.

    However, all VAT registered businesses can choose to defer any VAT return payments for this period until the end of the 2020/21 tax year (5th April 2021). 

    HMRC have confirmed that there is no need to apply for payment deferral and there will be no penalties or interest charges on these late payments. VAT repayments due to businesses during this period will be repaid as normal.

    Anyone who wants to defer payment and uses Direct Debit will need to suspend these automatic payments during this period and reinstate from the 1st July 2020.

    23/03/2020 - HMRC’s Time to Pay service

    Businesses and the self-employed with outstanding tax liabilities may be able to seek support through HMRC’s time to pay service.

    This is assessed on an individual basis and tailored to the circumstances and liabilities of the business/individual.

    If you have already missed or are about to miss a payment due to COVID-19 then you need to call the dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559

    For future payments that you are concerned about paying then you need to call nearer the time it is due.

    21/03/2020 - Furloughed workers – further information for employers

    If you cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, you may be able to access support to continue paying part of their wages, to avoid the need for redundancies and to enable you to retain your staff.


    If you intend to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you will need to discuss with your staff member about becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that they are kept on your payroll, rather than being laid off.


    To qualify for this scheme, they should not undertake work for you while they are furloughed. This will allow you to claim a grant of up to 80% of their wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month per employee.


    They will remain employed while furloughed. You could choose to fund the differences between this payment and their salary if you can afford to, but you do not have to.


    If their salary is reduced as a result of these changes, they may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.


    The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will initially run for 3 months from 1st March 2020, but will be extended if necessary.

    21/03/2020 - Coronavirus update - Small business grants

    Torbay Council have updated some of the information regarding coronavirus business grants on their website.  There is a reasonable overview at


    Whist we are still of the understanding from the government announcements that applicable businesses will automatically receive the grants Torbay Council have put up an application form which you can find at  To complete the application form you will need your business bank details, your business rates reference and a copy of a recent business bank statement.

    20/03/2020 - Coronavirus update 2

    We have today all been given an initial view of the support the government is providing to business and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.  Please find below some initial key points which we will flesh out as the details become available.

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    • Covers 80% of salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee
    • All employers are eligible with no restriction on size, value or industry.
    • The grant is designed to cover employees that were in PAYE on 28th February are ‘furloughed workers‘ i.e. those not working as a consequence of the virus due to reduced business requirement. If you have already given notice to an employee if you withdraw this notice the employee would still be eligible.
    • It can be back dated to 1st March and is initially available for 3 months but this may get extended.
    • The grant will be available within weeks via HMRC and paid by end of April


    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

    • Interest free period has been extended to 12 months.
    • Businesses should be able to access the loans from Monday.


    VAT and Income Tax payments

    • Deferral of VAT payments from now until 30th June 2020 no application required.
    • Deferred payment due by end of 2020/2021 financial year.
    • Deferral of 31st July 2020 Income Tax payments on account until 31st January 2021

    Please see HMRC's website for more information

    18/03/2020 - Coronavirus update 1

    Government announces £330bn support package:

    • No Business rates for all businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality this year
    • Government backed guaranteed loans on attractive terms with no interest for first six months
    • Any business owners with insurance that covers pandemics can claim as the government’s action is sufficient
    • Businesses without insurance and a rateable value of less than £51,000 could access cash grants of up to £25,000
    • Cash grants of £10,000 for small businesses (increased from £3,000)
    • For those in financial difficulty you can take a mortgage holiday of up to three months

    Details are very much in the air but there looks to be some good support for businesses and there will be more to come over the next days and weeks.


    Please follow the link below to access a bit more information on the £330bn support package announced by the Government: -

    06/11/2020 - More updates to the CJRS and SEISS

    The CRJS has now been extended until March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their salary for hours not worked.  The employer contributions will be reviewed in January but until then the employer will only cover NI and Pension contributions

    The SEISS rate has been increased again so the self-employed can claim 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7500 for the third grant covering November 2020 to January 2021.

    12/03/2020 - Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rules due to come into effect from 6th April 2020

    These new rules will affect landlords, property investors and second-home owners.

    A tighter payment deadline for CGT is due to come into effect and anyone selling additional properties after 6th April 2020 would be required to complete a stand-alone return and pay any tax liability due within 30 days from the date of completion.  Failure to do so will lead to penalties.


    For landlords who used to live in the property the principal private residence (PPR) relief for the final 18 months is reduced to 9 months.


    Letting relief will also no longer be available unless you live in the property alongside the tenant.

    17/02/2020 - National Minimum Wage rates

    In April 2020 the national minimum wage rates are increasing

         •  Aged 25 and over - £8.72

         •  Aged 21 to 24 - £78.20

         •  Aged 18 to 20 - £6.45

         •  Aged under 18 - £4.55

         •  Apprentice 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship - £4.15

         •  Apprentice under 19 - £4.15