Here is a summary of the latest developments in connection with the support provided to business owners as the Coronavirus continues:.

Update on Reaching the Clear Vision Team

Please note that client calls to our main number 01249 712074 will now been answered by our team between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Outside of these hours please leave a message on our answerphone and it will be picked up and actioned at 8am the following working day.

We continue to do our utmost to provide the support our clients need from us at this time.

Change to HMRC Time to Pay helpline number

The HMRC has changed the helpline number to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to keep up with their tax payments to: 0800 024 1222.

Employers’ Emergency HR Advice Line now open to all Business Owners

The Government has stated that the status of furloughed employees will continue to be subject to employment law and existing contracts of employment. It is therefore important to get professional employment law advice before going ahead with the furloughing of team members under the new Coronavirus Job Retentioon Scheme.

You can now make use of an Employers’ Emergency HR Advice Line set up by Vantage. Call this line on 0333 2407 208 to speak to specialist HR advisors who are ready to assess your situation.

Further details on the Job Retention Scheme (JRS)

Further details of the JRS have been made available by the Government since our update on 24th March:

Updated guidance for employers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found here.

Updated guidance for employees can be found here.

Furloughing of Directors

Under Company Law a Director cannot be furloughed as they are obliged to keep the Company going.

However, there are reports that HMRC will confirm that Company Law can be overlooked to allow a Director to be furloughed provided they were paid via PAYE as at 28th February 2020. These suggest Company Directors will be allowed to complete their statutory duties while furloughed.

We will bring you more updates on this situation as we receive them.

Companies House Filing Extension

In a welcome development, Companies House have announced that from 25th March, companies can apply for an additional 3 months to file annual accounts to help avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of the Coronavirus.

This offer is likely to benefit some of our clients and you can expect your Client Account Manager to discuss your individual business situation with you.

And finally…a note on spotting bogus HMRC text messages

HMRC has updated its guide on ‘Genuine HMRC Contact’ with the following advice regarding its GOV.UK Coronavirus Alert – SMS Campaign:

“You may receive an SMS entitled ‘GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT’ stating ‘New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info & exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives’. The SMS will be sent from UK_Gov.

These messages do not ask you to reply, or give out any personal/financial information. The link contained within the SMS will only direct you to the GOV.UK website giving advice on what you need to do during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak”

Beware of any other text messages claiming to be from HMRC. Always check the validity of these messages with the apparent source before responding to them.

Stay safe and well

The Clear Vision Team