In this CavanaghKelly update, we outline the COVID-19 grant and support schemes with deadlines approaching. We also highlight the deadline for applying for the EU Settlement scheme which is on Wednesday 30 June 2021 and alternations to the Right of Work checks for employers in July 2021.
Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Executive reopened applications for a COVID support grant, aiming to provide financial support to retail and wholesale businesses. Applications are now open for eligible small or medium sized businesses that already have an established online presence and want to boost their online sales.
As a small or medium sized retailer or wholesaler, you are eligible to apply if:
- Your business is based in Northern Ireland
- You are a small/medium-sized business employing 5 or more full-time equivalent staff in NI
- You are a retail/wholesale business with a physical retail premises which is accessible to the public
- Your business has an existing online presence such as a business website or social media channels
- Your business has a physical product/range of products that can be sold online and shipped to customers
For further information on additional eligibility criteria and exclusions, click here.
Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 9 July 2021.
Businesses that chose to postpone VAT payments in 2020 have until Monday 21 June 2021 to join HMRC’s new online payment scheme, which aims to spread the cost of deferred VAT charges.
Businesses that deferred VAT payments, can use the HMRC scheme to spread payments across up to eight equal monthly instalments, which are interest free. Payments can be set up online via the HMRC VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme portal.
Alternatively, eligible businesses unable to use the online services can call the HMRC Coronavirus Helpline at 0800 024 1222 (by Wednesday 30 June 2021).
For further information on spreading VAT payments or details of how to pay in full, click here.
The call for applications for the fifth SEISS grant will open in July.
This fifth grant will cover the period from May 2021 to September 2021 and will be available to eligible self-employed individuals or a member of a partnership.
HMRC will calculate your eligibility using your 2019 to 2020 self-assessment tax return and your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.
Additional eligibility criteria:
- You must be either currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus;
- Or you have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.
The fifth grant of the SEISS scheme is different as eligibility is determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 20221.
HMRC has announced that if eligible and your turnover is reduced by 30% or more, you will receive 80% of 3 months average trading profits (maximum grant of £7,500). If your trading turnover was reduced by less than 30%, then you will receive 30% of 3 months average trading profits (maximum grant of £2,850).
For further information on SEISS eligibility and how to apply, click here.
If you are a business that employs workers from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you should make them aware that they need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme ahead of the deadline on Wednesday 30 June 2021. This scheme aims to minimise the impact that the EU exit may have on your business.
It is free to apply to the scheme and EU/EEA or Swiss applicants will need to provide a passport or national identity card.
Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens living in the UK will need to provide one of the following to apply:
- Biometric residence card
- Biometric residence permit
For further information on the scheme, how to apply and eligibility criteria, click here.
From Thursday 1 July 2021 employers must check that all job applicants have the right to working within the UK before employing them, to avoid being liable for a civil penalty. These changes will also mean that employers can no longer accept the passports/ID cards of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens as valid proof of right to work.
For further information on the upcoming changes and for additional guidance, click here.
This Invest NI initiative grants businesses the opportunity to work with public sector education providers on innovation projects. Businesses can collaborate with a University, College or Institution of Technology (NI or ROI) through the scheme.
Projects supported by the scheme include:
- Helping to create/improve products, services or processes
- Access to specialist expertise in new materials
- Tapping into research and scientific expertise
It should be noted that the Innovation Voucher programme does not directly pay funds to participating businesses.
For further information on the scheme and how to apply, click here.
If you have any questions, contact us.
Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.