15/04/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 14 April 2020

Please find below the latest Business and Employer Bulletin from Government. This bulletin includes:

  • Link to the new Business Support hub, where information can be found on funding and support, advice for sole traders and the self-employed, employers’ responsibilities etc;
  • Link to the new PPE hub, which provides advice on the PPE requirements and recommendations for the work place.

Also please see below guidance from HMRC re: the Deferral of Customs Duties payments, which has been raised by BEIS with HMRC.

Duty deferment account holders

Duty deferment account holders who are experiencing severe financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 and who are unable to make payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT due on 15 April 2020 can contact HMRC for approval to enter into an extended period to make full or partial payment, without having their guarantee called upon or their deferment account suspended. The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office 03000 594243 or by email cdoenquiries@hmrc.gov.uk  or the COVID-19 helpline on 0800 024 1222. Account holders will be asked to provide an explanation of how Covid-19 has impacted their business finances and cash flow.

Duty Deferment account holders will be able to use their accounts during the extended payment period agreed unless they default on a subsequent payment in that period, in which case HMRC may consider suspending their account. The outstanding payment will not affect their duty deferment limit so they will not need to increase their guarantee to cover the outstanding payment. Where HMRC agree to an extended payment period, interest will not be charged on the outstanding payments provided they are paid in full by the agreed date.

Duty/import VAT payments not covered by a duty deferment account
Registered Importers who pay cash or an equivalent and are facing severe financial difficulties as a direct result of Covid-19 can contact HMRC to request an extension to the payment deadline at the time the payment is due. They will be asked to provide an explanation of how Covid-19 has impacted on their business finances. HMRC will consider this request and decide whether or not to agree an additional time to pay. The decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis and could be refused.

If the request is approved the conditions, including the length of time offered, will depend upon the importer’s individual circumstances and may require the holding of a guarantee for the period of the time extension. We cannot offer this facility to non-registered importers. For further information, please contact the Customs Debt Policy inbox (custdebtrr.customspolicy@hmrc.gov.uk).

Contents

Coronavirus business support hub

A new Coronavirus Business Support Hub is now available at gov.uk/business-support

The hub brings together key information for businesses including on funding and support, business closures, your responsibilities as an employer and managing your business during coronavirus.

The hub also includes information for self-employed people and sole traders.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) hub

A new hub containing guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE), and infection prevention and control (IPC) is now available, containing information for both health and social care settings and other workers and sectors.

The hub also links to the Cross-government UK-wide PPE plan to ensure that critical PPE is delivered to those on the frontline. This includes a new ‘Make’ strategy of encouraging UK manufacturers to produce PPE. We would welcome support from manufacturers who wish to offer their production facilities where they can meet the required specifications for use by the NHS and care sector. New offers can continue to be made via www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business.

New Updates and Guidance

Temporary changes to the Statutory Residence Test

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has proposed a change to the tax legislation to allow highly skilled individuals from across the world to come to the UK and help us respond to this unprecedented health emergency. The Statutory Residence Test (SRT) will be amended to ensure that any period(s) between 1 March and 1 June 2020 spent in the UK by individuals working on COVID-19 related activities will not count towards residence tests that potentially bring global earnings within the purview of UK taxation. These changes are time limited and will only support those people whose skillsets are currently required.

Notice to exporters 2020/10: processing licence applications during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Department for International Trade has revised arrangements for processing licence applications during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more here.

Notice to exporters 2020/10: processing licence applications during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Department for International Trade has revised arrangements for processing licence applications during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more here.

Notice to exporters 2020/09: Export Control Joint Unit updates guidance on compliance checks for open licences

Details of changes and further clarification on compliance checks for open licences.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support
Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation
Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business.  Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

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