What COVID-19 support schemes are continuing? - Wright Vigar
 In Advice, Blog, News

Today (30 September), the furlough and self-employed support schemes come to an end, as does the 5% VAT cut for hospitality and tourism, which will be raised to 12.5 percent tomorrow (1 October). However, some support schemes remain in place for the time being. Here is an overview of the main support schemes that remain and how they wind down over time.

Enhanced Time to Pay for Self-Assessment Taxpayers allowed taxpayers to postpone their 2020 income tax payments until January 2021 under the Enhanced Time to Pay for Self-Assessment Taxpayers programme. They could then use HMRC’s Time to Pay service to pay the deferred 2020 tax bill as well as the deferred 2021 tax bill until January 2022.

The VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme, which was launched as part of the initial COVID relief measures, allowed VAT-registered businesses to delay payment of VAT due for March – June 2020 until March 2021 without incurring interest. This payment could be spread across the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The government’s initial coronavirus relief measures included a decreased VAT rate for hospitality and tourism. This scheme has a 5% reduction rate until September 30, then a 12.5 percent reduction rate until March 31, 2022, when the scheme finishes, and the rate reverts to the statutory VAT rate of 20%.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) – Pay As You Grow – was also part of the initial COVID initiatives, which provided up to £50,000 in financial assistance to firms that had been negatively affected by the pandemic. As firms began to emerge from COVID, they used the Pay As You Grow function to make interest-only payments for up to six months on the BBLS loans they had received. BBLS loans could be extended to as late as November/December 2030 if the business was granted a loan on the application deadline.

The Future Fund and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS and CLBILS) provided loans to a variety of companies through the British Business Bank for three or six years. This year, they stopped accepting new applicants. In the case of the Future Fund, loans can be converted to equity in certain circumstances, with the government having already acquired shareholdings in 158 businesses as of 31 August 2021.

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