Garages and Petrol Stations: Government Assistance

Treasury written question – answered on 26 March 2020.

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Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour, Streatham

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to provide assistance with (a) business rates, (b) VAT relief and (c) PAYE relief to independent motoring garages that (i) must temporarily close and (ii) have fewer customers as a result of self-isolation following the covid-19 outbreak.

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.

At the Budget it announced that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000 would pay no business rates this year. On 17 March the Government went further, and extended the business rates holiday so that all eligible businesses in retail, hospitality or leisure will pay no business rates for 12 months, irrespective of rateable value. Those eligible businesses will also have access to additional cash grants of up to £25,000. The smallest businesses, those eligible for Small Business Rate Relief, will receive a cash grant of £10,000.

Since then, the Government has announced that UK VAT registered businesses 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. These businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers 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 per month, providing they keep the worker employed. They will receive the grant from HMRC, and the scheme will be backdated to 1 March 2020.

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

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay service by setting up a new Covid-19 Helpline with more staff to support it. Time to Pay is available to all taxpayers in temporary financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities. Taxpayers can contact the 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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