Old Mill Updates

COVID-19: Practical guidance for our rural and farming clients #10

Our weekly roundup of everything you need to know regarding financial and business strategy for farmers and rural businesses working within COVID-19 restrictions.

We have a passion for agriculture, and our advisers and their teams are here to support you during this uncertain time. Our advice doesn’t just end at financial; we also provide support and guidance by really understanding the rural industry, our connections with other professionals within the legal sector and land professionals. As week as our weekly email communication and ‘Virtual Breakfast’ Q&A which helps us to keep in touch with you, our clients

This week we are covering;

13th May 2020

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until October 2020 with the following considerations:

  1. Employees will continue to receive 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500
  2. Companies will start sharing the cost of the scheme from August
  3. Furloughed staff will be able to return part-time.

We will keep you up to date when further details are released. In the meantime, please do contact your adviser if you would like to discuss any financial implications to this extension.

Business rates revaluation postponed

As a direct result of the difficulties for businesses affected by COVID-19, the Government will postpone the revaluation of business rates which they had intended to implement for 2021 to 2022.

A revaluation is the review of the rateable values of all business and other non-domestic property in England at a particular point in time.

Revaluations are done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market.

Click here for more information on the gov.uk website

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme now open for applications

The SEISS (Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) is now open and available for applications.

If you plan to make your claim you will need your:

  • Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference)
  • National Insurance number
  • Bank Account number and Sort Code you want to be paid into
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

Once you have been deemed eligible via the Eligibility Checker you will be given a date to submit your application form.  The submission of the application form must be performed by the applicant, but we are very happy to advise on and review where we can.

Click here for more information in our SEISS guide which includes:

  • What you need
  • Check if you’re eligible
  • Setting up your Government Gateway ID
  • Unable to access Government Gateway ID
  • What happens if you are eligible?
  • Making a claim
  • What next
  • Appeals for ineligibility of SEISS

We have seen instances where clients disagree with a negative outcome when using the eligibility checker.  There is an appeal process which is detailed in our guide but if you find yourself in this situation, we advise you contact your Old Mill adviser to discuss why HMRC has come to this decision.

If it’s felt that HMRC has made a mistake then you can appeal using this method:

  1. Go onto the Government Eligibility Checker
  2. On the page where you are told you are not eligible, scroll down and click the hyperlink at Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (opens a new tab)
  3. You will be asked ‘Are you requesting an eligibility review on behalf of a client?’ This is if you are an accountant or finance professional.  If you are doing this for yourself, click ‘No’
  4. The next page is to confirm that you are aware you were told that you are not eligible at first and that you might be rejected again. Click ‘Confirm and Continue’
  5. Enter your email address and click ‘Continue’.  HMRC will then send you a code via email for you to enter on the next screen.  Once your email address is verified, they will send you an email confirming they will review your case and will include further steps.

These reviews will happen after 18 May and explanations will be given by the end of May.

Small Business Grant Scheme subject to tax should your business make a profit

HMRC have clarified in their guidance that the Small Business Grant Scheme which provides a grant of up to £25,000 will be subject to tax where a business makes an overall profit once grant income is included.

For those in receipt of this grant, we advise that you speak to us before your year end to work out exactly how this will affect you and your tax payments.

Click here for more information on the gov.uk website.


Deferred claims date for Agri-environment schemes

The deadline to submit claims for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and make a claim for the Countryside Stewardship (CS), Environmental Stewardship (ES) and Woodland legacy revenue payments has been extended from 15 May to midnight 15 June (without penalty), or by midnight on 10 July (late application penalties apply).  You can make amendments to your application by midnight on 30 June, without penalty.

You must still have ‘land at your disposal’ and hold the entitlements that you want to claim on at 15 May.

Crop diversification rules have been removed for BPS 2020 but EFA (Ecological Focus Areas) and permanent grassland rules still apply. This means that if you are unable to plant the required combination of arable crops, you will not be penalised.

Click here for more information on the gov.uk website.

Critical dates for farm and rural business cash flow

We advise farmers and rural businesses to consider the following dates when planning future cash flow fluctuations:

1 October 2020/1 January 2021 – Most UK Companies are December or March year-ends and tax will need to be paid in October and January.

7 November 2020 – The September VAT quarter is likely to be the first quarter you will have with a significant liability from returning to normal trade.  7 November is the due date for this payment.

31 January 2021 – The end of January is the payment date for your income tax.

31 March 2021 – Importantly, VAT payment deferred during the COVID-19 crisis is due for payment on this date.

1 May 2021 – Repayments for the CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) and BBLS (Bounce Back Loan Scheme) repayments are likely to start on this date.

Click here to read our full insight on managing cash flow and the six key dates to focus on over the next 12 months.

Join us for our weekly rural ‘Virtual Breakfast’ Q&A – Friday 15 May – 9am

We are delighted to see so many of you joining us for our Old Mill rural ‘Virtual Breakfast’. Each week, we will continue to update you on new announcements, discuss the implications of COVID-19 on farming and rural businesses and focus on strategy and financials.

Andrew Vickery and Catherine Vickery will be the lead panellists to answer your questions this week. You are welcome to submit questions during the event using the question box on the right of your screen or beforehand to marketing@om.uk.

Click here to join our ‘Virtual Breakfast’ this Friday 15 May at 9am.

The link will direct you to a secure Microsoft Teams page.  Here you can click the box ‘watch on the web instead’ which will give you entry without having to download any software.

If you have any problems accessing the event, please let us know by contacting marketing@om.uk.

Safeguard UK agriculture through The Agricultural Bill

The Agricultural Bill goes back before Parliament today (13 May) at a critical juncture.

The NFU (National Farmers Union) and supporters of the industry are asking all stakeholders to act now and stand together to promote:

  1. Strong provisions on food security
  2. Safeguarding our high standards
  3. Resilience and stability in food production
  4. Support for the production of food
  5. An ‘agricultural’ Agriculture Bill

All stakeholders are encouraged to contact their local MP via email to ask for his/her engagement in this process. You can find details of your local MP here.

And the bill can be viewed in full here.

For more information, or if you have any questions about any of the above, please contact your Old Mill adviser or email enquiries@om.uk.