Investors in Enforcement Agents 
Further to yesterday’s email which advised that we were in contact with The Ministry of Justice, we wanted to update everyone. 
 
As an Association following guidance from The Ministry of Justice and taking into account Government advice Enforcement visits should CEASE until further notice. 
It is important that both bailiffs/EAs and those subject to enforcement action are protected by correctly adhering to public health guidance at this time. The most up-to-date government advice is available at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. 
 
It is important that bailiffs follow the latest government guidance regarding working practices and contact with others, including social distancing measures. We would recommend bailiffs suspend in-person visits unless they are able to comply with advice on social distancing and / or be equipped with suitable PPE. This is in line with the approach that HMCTS is taking. 
 
We understand that this is a difficult time, but we must all keep safe, which is why our advice is to cease all enforcement visits until further notice. 
 
The Money Advice Trust have announced that they have written a joint letter to Secretary of State Robert Jenrick, calling for clarity from Government on Council Bailiffs. This comes as Citizens Advice, Money Advice Trust and StepChange Debt Charity report that debt advisers have already begun to receive calls about bailiffs visiting their homes from people who are self-isolating. 
 
Click here to read more 
We have also received some information from our accountants that we felt would be useful to share. 
 
They advised that the link below is the most helpful and comprehensive information that they have found, which is also being updated on any new developments. 
 
 
Below are some of the questions that they have already received from companies. 
 
I am the director of a limited company can I claim 80% of my salary? 
My answer is not unless you have furloughed your employment and are no longer able to work due to the virus. Any changes to staff arrangements may need the help of an HR specialist, HR is outside of our remit. 
 
Do I have to pay my VAT? 
My answer is yes, eventually, however if it is due between 20/3/2020 and 30/6/2020 you may defer your payment automatically without any application until the end of the 2020/2021 tax year. 
 
Do I still have to submit my RTI payroll reports? 
Yes you need to find ways of doing so. There are many IT solutions available if having to work from home or in self isolation. 
 
I have had to return to the UK from working abroad solely due to the virus, does this affect my residency status? 
HMRC have stated that Covid-19 will be categorised as “exceptional circumstances” so this will not affect your residency days. 
 
I am currently only working for one customer and have been assessed as “employed” status. How does all this affect me? 
The government have deferred the introduction of the IR35: Off-payrolling rules to the private sector to 6 April 2021. This is a very last-minute change that will affect a number of our clients! 
 
Please note the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is still a loan from a lender of your choice (there is a link to the lenders available by following the link above), the difference to normal is that the government will guarantee 80% of the loan to the lender and the government will cover the first twelve months of interest. Please be aware there are many scammers already, so do be vigilant. 
Update for Self Employed 
 
Yesterday we shared a link to the Coronavirus Bill that is currently going through Parliament, and the section that relates to the Self-employed. 
 
The Bill is currently going through the House of Lords with the final stages expected to take place today (25 March 2020). It should be noted that this is a work in progress as amendments to the Bill remain possible during the House of Lords committee stage. 
 
As currently written the Bill includes provision for payments to be made by the government to the self-employed and freelancers so that their net monthly earnings do not fall below the lower of: 
 
80% of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years. 
Payments would be capped at £2,917 per month. 
 
The comparable Job Retention scheme for employees will apply to furloughed workers laid off during the crisis and has a cap of £2,500 per month. There are not, as yet, any details available as to exactly how this would work for the self-employed. More details are expected by 25 March. 
The Government have also published that there will be extra protection for businesses with a ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments within the next three months. 
 
Click here for further information 
 
 
 
The Government have also announced that MOT’s will be suspended for 6 months from 30th March 2020. 
 
Click here for further information 
Tagged as: Coronavirus
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