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UK practical business advice: COVID-19

Last updated: 30 March 2020, 16:35. Here’s a quick summary of practical help announced by the government.

You can read the latest advice and guidance from government for businesses on its coronavirus pages.

We will be updating this page on a continuous basis to keep you, your business and your clients informed with all the latest information. For tax specific advice you may also want to visit the tax section of ICAEW's coronavirus hub. 


  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. ICAEW Tax Faculty has been in discussion with government and we have now published comprehensive guidance for business to explain our understanding of how the furlough scheme will operate. Find out more.

All businesses

  • VAT deferral for payments due up to 30 June. Find out more: Government guidance | ICAEW guidance
  • Time to Pay all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay Service. Find out more: Government guidance | ICAEW guidance
  • Changes to insolvency rules to help companies trade – announcement that changes will be made to enable UK companies undergoing a rescue or restructure to continue trading, helping them avoid insolvency. Government guidance | ICAEW guidance


  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme will provide grants to self-employed individuals or partnerships negatively impacted by COVID-19, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Find out more.
  • Deferral of Self-Assessment payment – the self-assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020, may now be deferred until January 2021. Find out more.

Small businesses

  • Small Business Grant Funding for small businesses in England that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief, rural rate relief and tapered relief. Find out more.

Small and medium businesses

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - Revised which will help businesses affected to access bank lending and overdrafts if they need to. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee for each loan. Find out more.
  • Statutory Sick Pay Rebate to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for staff absence due to coronavirus. Find out more.

Large businesses

  • COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Find out more.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses

  • Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors in England for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more.
  • Up to £25,000 per property Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure in England. Find out more.

Nursery businesses

  • Business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Find out more.

Read government’s Frequently asked questions that will be regularly updated according to the latest advice and guidance.