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National Insurance Contributions: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will reduce employer national insurance contribution rates for businesses that can demonstrate loss of trade as a result of covid-19.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether (a) tax breaks and (b) financial support have been implemented for the self-employed during the coronavirus outbreak.

Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Public Health and Primary Care)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to introduce an Immediate deferment of HMRC payments for a period of six months in order to support cash flow for businesses and households during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Labour, Ilford North

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a tax holiday to defer payments from self-employed people ahead of the July deadline.

Photo of Jamie Stone Jamie Stone Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Armed Forces), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to exempt businesses from paying (a) national insurance, (b) VAT, (c) corporation tax and (d) business rates over the next three months.

Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to defer the payment of (a) National Insurance, (b) PAYE and (c) VAT for 12 months for charities, such as The Deep, that rely on visitor income to fund their costs and activities.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support for businesses and individuals affected by Covid-19, and remains committed to doing whatever it takes to support the economy as necessary.

UK VAT registered businesses, including charities, can defer VAT payments due with their VAT returns between now and the end of June. No UK VAT registered business will have to make a VAT payment alongside their VAT return to HMRC in that period. They will have until the end of the financial year to repay.

The Government will also give all eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months. The Government also extended the support available to individuals and businesses, including a package of government-backed and guaranteed loans, which make available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of GDP.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31st of July 2020 will be deferred until the 31st of January 2021.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers (including charities) can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 a month, providing they keep the worker employed. They will receive the grant from HMRC, covering the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available for those unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with government advice; this is on top of the Prime Minister’s announcement that SSP will be payable from day 1 instead of day 4 for affected individuals. Support will be available through Universal Credit and Contributory Employment and Support Allowance for those not eligible for SSP.

HMRC have scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all taxpayers, including charities, who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities. Taxpayers can contact HMRC’s dedicated Covid-19 helpline to get practical help and advice on 0800 0159 559.

The Chancellor will continue to review and make further announcements as events unfold if required.

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