The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps
Powering Chimney Sweeping into the 21st Century

Financial summary of developments

30 March, 2020
    Financial summary of developments

    Financial – summary of government developments.
    29th March 2020

    The Coronavirus pandemic has left many sweeps anxious about their financial security.

    The Government has put measures in place which aim to assist the self employed and smaller businesses.

    Obviously there will be many different scenarios and it’s impossible to list them all.

    Please note this is merely a guide, and the information is subject to amendment. For bespoke, professional advice on your own situation, you are strongly advised to speak to your accountant and/or HMRC.

    Sole Traders/Partnerships (Started Trading Before April 2019)

    The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
    If you have yet to complete your tax return for financial year 2018 / 2019 due on 31st Jan 2020, then the government are allowing an extension of 4 weeks from last Thursday, 26th March to submit your return. Please check these details if this applies to you.

    For more on eligibility on the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, visit 

    Sole Traders/Partnerships (Started Trading From April 2019)

    Those who are not eligible for the above scheme are advised to:

    * Claim Universal Credit if they have seen their income decline substantially as a result of the virus

    * Update their Universal Credit journal if they are already claiming UC.

    The Minimum Income Floor has been removed, the weekly allowance will be raised by £20 to £94.25 per week and the Housing element has been increased, so monthly Universal Credit payments should be higher than usual.

    Directors/Employees of Limited Companies

    The Government will pay up to 80% of your PAYE wage only. Dividends are not included.

    In order to be eligible, you must be ‘furloughed’ – i.e stop working but stay on the payroll. You are not allowed to work for the company during this period. We understand sole directors will be allowed to undertake statutory duties but nothing outside of this.

    The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

    More information at

    Deferral of self assessment tax payments on account

    Self assessment tax payments falling due in July this year may be paid in July or deferred until January 2021.

    VAT Payments

    If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

    * defer the payment until a later date
    * pay the VAT due as normal

    More information at

    Business Rates

    A one-off grant of £10,000 may be payable to businesses who already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

    You are eligible if:

    * your business is based in England
    * you are a business that occupies property
    * you are receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11 March

    You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

    Business Loans

    The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

    The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims). The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

    There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

    You are eligible for the scheme if:

    * your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
    * your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

    More info at

    Council Tax

    If you are worried about paying your Council Tax bill then please contact your local authority. They have had some additional money from central government to help reduce Council Tax bills for those who are unable to pay.

    For further information on government assistance, please visit

    Mortgage payments

    The government has said that you may apply to your mortgage lender for a 3 month “mortgage holiday”. This is the case for personal mortgage, please seek professional advice on business or buy to let mortgages. If you take a mortgage holiday the 3 months would be added to the end of the term.


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