I am due to file accounts at Companies House, but have been unable to complete them due to Covid-19. What should I do?
Every company has to file accounts at Companies House every year. If they are filed late, a fine is automatically levied. If there is a long delay in filing them, the directors are at risk of prosecution and the Registrar of Companies might start a process which could ultimately lead to the company being struck from the register.
However, Companies House has recognised that businesses might currently face exceptional problems in preparing and filing their accounts on time and so have posted a notice on their website which says that if immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time due to coronavirus, you can make an application to extend the period allowed for filing.
Payments of the Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”) are tied to commencement of development, and where an instalment policy is in place, the instalments are usually tied to periods of time following commencement rather than build out rates. Therefore where a development has commenced, payments of CIL are likely to fall due in respect of a site notwithstanding that the site may have temporarily closed or build out rates have slowed.
New regulations now in force, provide some additional relief for those developers with an annual turnover of £45 million or less. Such relief will allow the Council to defer payments, disapply late interest charges, and refund late interest charges that have already been levied since 21 March 2020.
For those developers that cannot benefit from the new provisions, unless a Council has adopted an exceptional circumstances relief policy the regulations do not provide for any relief to be provided in instances where payment of CIL will create viability issues. Most Councils have not adopted such a policy, and in those circumstances the CIL liability will remain due in accordance with the payment schedule on the demand notice.
Councils are at liberty to amend their instalment policies in accordance with their own internal procedures, and the Government is encouraging Councils to explore this option to provide some relief to developers. However this will only assist in respect of any prospective instalments where the development commences after the new instalment policy has been adopted.
For those developers whose annual turnover exceeds £45 million, the Government seems to be taking the view that such developers can afford their CIL liabilities regardless of the current climate. The only concession the Government has proposed is to encourage Councils to make use of the existing discretion they have in respect of the imposition of surcharges for late payments.
The Government has announced a £750 million funding package for charities to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak. This is for a 3 month period and further specific funding may be made available.
Charities which are businesses can also access the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – Please see our Funding and Finance FAQ’s.
- On admission to hospital, all adults should be assessed for frailty, irrespective of their age and Covid-19 status. Regard should be had to any comorbidities and underlying health conditions.
- If a patient is identified as potentially having Covid-19, the UK Government guidance on infection prevention and control measures should be followed.
- If Covid-19 is then diagnosed in someone who is not isolated from admission or presentation, the UK Government guidance on actions required when a case was not diagnosed on admission should be followed.
The guidance asks parties to act responsibly and fairly in performing and enforcing contracts. They are encouraged to act in a spirit of cooperation to achieve practical, just and equitable outcomes. In essence, rather than sticking strictly to the contract as agreed, they are encouraged to give each other leeway to deliver performance differently than they are required to do under the contract.
It is possible to review working arrangements for contractors before the new rules come into effect. This will require immediate action.
You could consider terminating current contracts and entering into new terms that reflect working arrangements for a self-employment arrangement.
Another possibility is encouraging contractors to abandon the PSC model and provide services under a compliant umbrella company.
In the event of a determination of employed status you should seek to enter new terms that at the very least reflect the new tax arrangements .