I have received the information below from HM Revenue and Customs:
HMRC is ready to help all businesses, and self-employed individuals, in financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Any business affected by the outbreak can find detailed guidance on GOV.UK. If you are concerned about not being able to pay an overdue tax bill or a bill due in the near future due to COVID-19, you can contact our new dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Our telephone lines are operating on reduced hours of 8am until 4pm Monday to Friday while we have fewer advisers available due the measures put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. If any of your constituents have missed or are worried about missing their next tax payment, please ask them to call. If it’s about a future payment, please encourage them to call us nearer the time.
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. In particular:
- for businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 2 weeks of COVID-19 related statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million employers with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. More information about this and regular updates can be found on GOV.UK
- HMRC will be supporting businesses and self-employed individuals in distress by providing support with their tax affairs, including a Time to Pay arrangement facility. You can check your tax payments using your Personal Tax Account (PTA) or the HMRC App.
This is all part of a wider package of measures which includes:
- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
- support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans (more details to follow in due course)
- new legal powers in the Covid Bill enabling the government to offer whatever further financial support we think necessary to businesses.