COVID-19 - HK UPDATE 24TH MARCH 2020
This update is written and posted on 24th March 2020, and is likely to quickly become out of date. We will continue to endeavour to update information as it becomes available.
As you know, we act for clients all over the UK and in all business sectors, if you have any tips or advice, local to your area or sector, please let us know, so that we can share with our clients.
Previous updates and other useful information can be found at our WEBSITE.
Whilst our clients and intermediates always come first, the health and happiness of our staff are central to who we are as a firm. As such, our team are now working from home.
Please rest assured that Harbour Key will continue to operate as usual.
Existing customers should expect little to no disruption to your existing services and our team will remain on hand should you require any assistance.
Our phone lines are diverted, so please continue to use our main landline to contact us, 01452 713277.
A member of the team will be will travelling to the office every weekday to collect up the post, until there are any changes to Government policy.
The Government has announced that commercial tenants who unable to pay rent because of coronavirus, will be protected from eviction for three months.
Many landlords and tenants will already be having conversations and reaching voluntary arrangements about rental payments; however, the Government recognised businesses struggling with their cashflow, due to coronavirus, would be worried about eviction.
Tenants will still be liable for the rent after the three months. The Government is also actively monitoring the impact on commercial landlords with regards to this rent holiday.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
Following the CBILS going live yesterday, reports from the high street banks is that they are experiencing unprecedented level of enquiries. Banks are dealing with their own customers first before looking at new customers, so your current bank should be the starting point.
Companies House filing
Companies House have advised if coronavirus has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts, you should act before your filing deadline. If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time, you may make an application to extend the period allowed for filing. There is more information HERE;
If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts have been filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. The registrar has very limited discretion not to collect a penalty. As advised previously, although difficult times, keep your filing and tax reporting up to date to prevent late filing penalties.
Business Information Campaign
The Government has launched a new business information campaign website, which we have found easier to follow Government information, when compared to the main Government site. The site can be found at HERE:
The site, in addition to the Government announcements, also provides general business support and help, for example advice on business continuity management.
- The Chancellor has advised the Commons there is a package for self-employed people coming soon. Expected end of the week or early next week;
- £500 million Hardship Fund will provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus;
- Challenge extended payment terms – some our clients have advised that they have had success in dealing with large businesses in reducing extended payment terms. Consideration could also be given to contacting the Small Business Commissioner’s office for help, if large firms to are asking you to accept extended payment arrangements;
- Non-UK tax residents who find themselves stuck in the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will be able to claim ‘exceptional circumstances’ with regard to their current tax residency status, in cases where they have to stay here for more than the 183 days permitted. In an update to the rules regarding the statutory residence test (SRT), HMRC says the covid-19 pandemic may impact expats’ ability to move freely to and from the UK or, require them to remain unexpectedly in the UK.