Update – 19th March 2020

1.Delay to IR35

What has changed?

Reforms to off-payroll working rules which ensure two people sitting side by side doing the same work for the same employer are taxed in the same way have been delayed by 12 months. The reforms make medium and large organisations in the private and third sectors responsible for determining the tax status of contractors and ensuring that the right employment taxes are paid.

When will it come into effect?
The rules will now come into effect on 6 April 2021 instead of 6 April this year.

2. Renters and Landlords

What has changed?

-Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
-No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
-Landlords will also be protected as the 3-month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages

What happens after three months?

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, considering tenants’ individual circumstances. The government will issue guidance which asks landlords to show compassion and to allow tenants who are affected by this to remain in their homes wherever possible.

3.Business Rates Holiday -UPDATED

What is available?

There will be a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

A more detailed list of business which will fall under this can be found in the link below on page 5 but are summarised as

1.Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
2.Properties used for assembly and leisure; or
3.Hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

This was also extended to include private childcare providers.


A list of types of uses that the government does not consider to be eligible is on page 8.

Who do I ask?

Your local Authority- the government confirmed “It will be for individual local billing authorities to adopt a local scheme and determine in each individual case when, having regard to this guidance, to grant relief.”

When will it be available?

Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March.

4.Business Interruption Loan- UPDATED

What is available?

The Business Interruption loan will be available to businesses who meet the eligibility criteria and operate in specific industrial sectors. The full criteria have not yet been published and so we are awaiting much of the detail on this one. What we do know is the loan will be interest free for the first six months as the government will finance this.

Once more information is available, we will share this, but I would exercise caution on this option before you are comfortable in terms of being able to pay back the capital plus the interest after the first six months.

Who do I ask?

Full eligibility criteria will be published shortly

More information can be found here

A list of accredited lenders can also be found here

We have relationships with commercial finance companies who work with the participating providers in assisting with any business enquiry.

When will it be available?

Week commencing 23 March


What is available?

HMRC may provide you with support on time to pay on any tax that is falling due. They are very clear that this will be agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. Be prepared to discuss what impact coronavirus has had on your business as to why you need this.

You also need to consider what you can afford to pay back and over what period before you phone them. This is not an indefinite arrangement and so you need to factor in how much you think you can afford to pay over the coming months.

More specifically HMRC have added this information

For those who are unable to pay due to coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:
-agreeing an instalment arrangement
-suspending debt collection proceedings
-cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

Who do I ask?

Contact HMRC on 0800 0159 559

When will it be available?

You can contact them now.

Government Link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-andbusinesses-about-covid-19

This article is written for the general interest of our clients and is not a substitute for consulting the relevant legislation or taking professional advice. The authors and the firm cannot accept any responsibility for loss arising from any person acting or refraining from acting on the basis of the material included herein.

Andy Fleet

Author Andy Fleet

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