Pension Schemes – Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSAS) and Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP)

HMRC have announced measures to assist Pension Schemes.  In particular:

  • Pension Scheme Returns will NOT be required for the 2019/20 tax year due to difficulties in obtaining the required valuations.
  • If a valuation is required, eg: when funds are designated for a drawdown pension, HMRC will accept that special circumstances exist if, due to COVID-19, trading in the share has been suspended or the closing price is not a proper measure of value.  This would allow an alternative method of valuation to be used.
  • HMRC will accept payment holidays on loans to connected parties and rent holidays on commercial property as arm’s length commercial decisions without a valuation.  The Scheme should still be able to demonstrate that the decision was on an arm’s length commercial basis.

Further details can be found in the Pension schemes newsletter HERE.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

HMRC have started contacting those they believe are eligible for the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) with the claims service opening on 13 May 2020.  The intention is for payments to be made by 25 May or within 6 working days of completing a claim form.

Further details, as well as a link to check eligibility for the scheme can be found HERE.

The eligibility check can also be used to set up a Government Gateway user ID and password.

We recommend anyone who intends to claim under SEISS visits this link now to streamline the application process when the claim service opens.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is now available through a number of accredited lenders across the UK.

Businesses are able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days of approval.  Loans are interest free for the first 12 months (the Government will pay the first 12 months interest), and businesses are able to apply online through a short form.

Interest rates should be in the region of 2.5%.

Over 100,000 applications were made yesterday (4th May 2020) and we’re yet to hear of anyone being approved so expect it to take a few weeks before funds are released.

How to apply

The following lenders are accredited for the BBLS, most of which are offering online applications.  More lenders are expected to come online within days.

In the first instance it is recommended to approach your existing banking provider.  If they turn you down you can approach other lenders to access the finance you require.

Who can apply

Businesses must be able to self‑declare to the lender that it:

  • has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic
  • was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019
  • is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020
  • is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the facility
  • is not in bankruptcy or liquidation, or undergoing debt restructuring at the time of application
  • derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement excludes charities or further-education colleges)
  • is not in a restricted sector

For more information, visit the British Business Bank FAQ page HERE >>