When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in the early months of 2020, most businesses were affected in one way or the other. For those businesses that had to close or had reduced income, the UK government provided financial support through one of three different schemes.
HMRC has recently released some interesting facts and figures in relation to these schemes , the full breakdown of which can be found on their website. But if you don’t have time to spare trawling through the reports, we’ve broken it down for you below.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was launched on 20th April 2020 with the aim of providing furlough payments to employees of businesses that were forced to close or work with reduced operations.
At the initial launch of the scheme (claims made up until 23rd April), 3.8 million jobs had been furloughed across 512,000 employers. The total value of claims made was £4.5 billion, and that’s just the start. The numbers initially increased quite rapidly up to 24th May when 1 million employers had signed up to furlough 8.4 million jobs at a total value of £15 billion. Since then, the numbers have continued to increase but at a much slower rate.
At the time of writing (20th July 2020) a total value of £28.7 billion had been claimed by 1.2 million businesses for 9.4 million jobs.
In their initial report, HMRC examined which areas have utilised the scheme most. One of the largest business sectors using the scheme was the wholesale and retail sector who have made claims for 1.6 million employments. Large employers (employing 250 or more people) have unsurprisingly claimed the most money with almost £4.9 billion claimed via CJRS. Another document about the claims made using the CJRS is due to be released in July, so keep your eyes peeled.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) took a little longer to be rolled out. Claims could be made by self-employed workers from 13th May 2020 to cover income lost over the previous months whilst their business were forced to close or had reduced custom.
In the first week of the scheme, 441,000 claims had been made totalling £1.3 billion. These figures peaked much more quickly than the furlough scheme, most likely due to the delay in self-employed individuals being able to claim.
The peak of applicants came by the end of that month with 2.5 million claims made to a total of £7.2 billion. The numbers haven’t changed dramatically since then but you can check them out on the HMRC website if you want more info.
In HMRC’s June report, it was stated that 3.4 million individuals were identified as potential claimants of the SEISS scheme. 2.4 million (70%) of those individuals had made a claim for the SEISS grant by 31st May. In the rundown of the SEISS figures, the largest business sector involved was the construction industry with £2.9 billion claimed by it’s self-employed workers. As with the CJRS statistics, another report is due to be released in July.
If you’d like to read more about the SEISS, have a gander at our blog.
On 20th March 2020, the VAT payments deferral scheme was launched to give VAT registered businesses a break. It allowed registered businesses to defer payments usually made between 20th March and 30th June 2020 without incurring any late payment fees or penalties. Unlike the CJRS and SEISS which are grants given to businesses the VAT deferral scheme simply holds off VAT payments that will ultimately still need to be paid.
In the initial run of statistics for payments due 7th April, only 140,000 out of a possible 342,000 businesses deferred their payments. This peaked in May, where 243,000 out of a potential 549,000 deferred. As a result of this spike, the £17.2 billion of VAT deferred in this month accounts for more than half of the total £27.5 billion VAT deferred (according to the current HMRC data).
If you’re a small business and aren’t sure if you’ve taken full advantage of the government support available to you, check out our rundown of the support available to you on our small business COVID-19 support blog.
At Mazuma, we’re always looking out for our clients and their businesses. If you’re looking for an accountant who can help you navigate these uncertain financial times, then why not get in touch and find out more about how we can support your business.
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