Register for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Businesses providing food and drinks for immediate consumption can register for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and offer a 50% discount (up to a maximum of £10 per person) on food and non-alcoholic drinks to customers dining in. This scheme is to help restaurants to attract customers to dine in thus bring income to the business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can run the discount offer all day, every Monday to Wednesday from 3 August to 31 August 2020. You must register first before you offer a discount to your customers.

The benefit of this scheme is that you can claim back the discounted food bill from the government. HM Revenue and Customs will pay you back.

  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • public houses that serve food
  • hotel restaurants
  • restaurants and cafes within tourist attractions, holiday sites and leisure facilities
  • dining rooms within members’ clubs
  • workplace and school canteens

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme open for registration from 13 July 2020. Generally, you must wait 7 days from registration to make your first claim. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will pay your claim into your bank account within 5 working days. You can claim on a weekly basis. Your claim would be treated as taxable income under your business.

A dedicated helpline will be available to keen participating businesses from 13 July 2020.

Read Eat Out to Help Out Scheme guidance here.

Companies House filings during COVID-19 pandemic

Companies House also gear up to support UK businesses during COVID-19 pandemic. They will automatically extend your company’s filing deadline. This will help you to avoid a late filing penalty if you are unable to deliver your company accounts on time during this pandemic. You do not need to do anything. You just need to go to Companies House website to check your new filing deadline.

On the same note, your confirmation statement filing deadline will also be extended. You would have 6 weeks to file your confirmation statement. Likewise, for the events driven filings, you will have 42 days (6 weeks) to notify Companies House instead of the usual 14 days filing deadline.

In addition, Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

During this pandemic, you are encouraged to submit your documents online to Companies House. You can use the webfiling service to file the following documents to Companies House.

To file online, you would require your company’s authentication code. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

If you require help with your company’s filings, contact Our accountants. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Temporarily reduced VAT rate to 5%

The UK government has announced on 8 July 2020 to temporarily reduced VAT rate to 5%, from the standard rate of 20% to boost the UK economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary 5% reduced VAT rate will come into effect for transactions occurred between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

if you are a VAT registered company and in business in the following sectors then you would charge 5% VAT to your customers from 15 July 2020, instead of the 20% VAT.

For example, say your usual price for a plate of stir fried noodles is £9 plus VAT. Currently, your selling price to your customers would be £10.80 inclusive of 20% VAT (£9+20% VAT). From 15 July 2020, your selling price will fall to £9.45 (£9+5% VAT). Your customer will save £1.35 and you will lose nothing except for adjusting your VAT calculation.

Hospitality sector

  • Restaurants
  • Pubs,
  • Cafes,
  • Catering and takeaways.

Hotels and holiday accommodation

  • Hotels
  • Camping sites
  • Hostels
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Caravan sites

Attractions

  • Shows
  • Theatres
  • Circuses
  • Fairs
  • Amusement parks
  • Concerts
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Cinemas
  • Exhibitions
  • similar cultural events and facilities

Read the guidance on temporary 5% reduced VAT rate here.

This temporarily reduced VAT rate to 5% will encourage the public to visit attractions with their kids and eat out during this pandemic. Of course, everyone must follow the social distancing rules.

Companies House filings during COVID-19 pandemic

Companies House also step up to support UK businesses during COVID-19 pandemic. They will automatically extend your company’s filing deadline. This would help your business if it is severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and help you to avoid a late filing penalty. You do not need to do anything. You just need to go to Companies House website to check your new filing deadline.

On the same note, your confirmation statement filing deadline will also be extended. You would have 6 weeks to file your confirmation statement. Likewise, for the events driven filings, you will have 42 days (6 weeks) to notify Companies House instead of the usual 14 days filing deadline.

In addition, Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

During this pandemic, you are encouraged to submit your documents online to Companies House. You can use the webfiling service to file the following documents to Companies House.

To file online, you would require your company’s authentication code. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

If you require help with your company’s filings, contact Our accountants. They will be more than happy to assist you.

HMRC payment support service

Contact HMRC payment support service if you foresee that you are unable to pay your tax when it is due in full.

  • Self-Assessment tax bill. Take Note that you can defer your self-assessment payment on account to 31 January 2021. Or pay by instalments.
  • VAT due to HMRC
  • employers PAYE due to HMRC
  • Corporation Tax due to HMRC

Payment support service helpline

HMRC helplinePayment Support Service (PSS)
Telephone:0300 200 3835
Opening times:Monday to Friday: 8 am to 4 pm
Closed on bank holidays.

HMRC would need this information from you when you call

If you foresee you are unable to pay your VAT due to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), then please have your VAT number ready.

In addition, of the amount owe to HMRC for your VAT, what is the amount you foresee you can’t pay when it is due. For example, the full VAT amount or only part of it. You must give reasons leading to this unable to pay situation.

Also, how much you can pay now toward the VAT amount going to be due?

Do you have a proposed payment plan in mind? a plan to pay the full or the balance of the VAT amount owed.

Illustration example:

say, the amount you owe is £2,500. You could put aside £800+ a month to settle the VAT within 3 months. Consider proposing your payment plan to the HMRC as follows:

Proposed Plan31 August 202030 September 202031 October 2020
Payment£830£830£840

Also, have your bank accounts details in hand.

Additionally, HMRC may ask you to provide information about your financial affairs including the following:

  • your income and expenditure
  • your assets, like savings and investments
  • what you’re doing to get your tax payments back in order

HMRC will then let you know their decision based on the information you provided to them whether to pay immediately or give you more time to pay.

A similar procedure applies if you would like to have more time to pay your corporation tax or PAYE.

Companies House filings in response to COVID-19 outbreak

Companies House grants an automatic extension for the following filings in response to COVID-19 outbreak (on 27 June 2020).

  • Company accounts filing deadline automatic extension for private (LTD) and public companies (PLCs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), Overseas Companies and Societas Europaea (SEs).
  • 6 weeks to submit your confirmation statement.
  • Events driven filings deadlines also extend to 42 days, also 6 weeks. For example, you have moved your registered office to a new address. You also have up to 6 weeks to notify Companies House.
  • Mortgage charges registration has a further 10 days, a total of 31 days to submit the document with Companies House.
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