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Covid-19 Guidance Hub



19th October 2021

Recovery Loan Scheme: What you need to know

We are now in Q4 and there are less than 90 working days left of the year. It is critical that businesses begin planning for 2022. It’s been a difficult 18 months and now it is important for businesses to have a clear post  Covid-19 recovery plan in place. An important option for businesses is […]


29th July 2021

COVID – working from paradise?

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time on the beautiful island of Barbados.  So when the Barbados government announced the launch of the Welcome Stamp visa to encourage remote workers to spend twelve months in Barbados, I must confess, I was more than a little tempted. Pre-COVID, […]


22nd July 2021

Fifth SEISS: New rules for the self-employed on the way – all you need to know

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant has helped millions of self-employed people across the UK whose business and income has been affected by the pandemic. Applications for the fourth round of grants ended at the beginning of June 2021 but a fifth round is on its way later this month. If you think your […]


7th July 2021

Turning challenges into opportunity: VOCES8 Foundation

The Show Must Go On: Supporting Artists and Creating a Worldwide Arts Community through Digital Innovation Partner: Andrew Rich Client: VOCES8 Foundation In three sentences, what does the VOCES8 Foundation do? The VOCES8 Foundation leads the music world in its innovative business and music education models, with a worldwide reach, diverse music offerings and collaborations all […]


17th June 2021

Latest on the VAT Payments Holiday – all you need know

To support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Government announced temporary changes to the VAT system. Many organisations took advantage of the VAT payment deferral scheme, allowing them to defer payments that fell between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until 31 March 2021, with no interest or penalties. This includes the VAT […]


17th June 2021

The Chancellor set to reject furlough extension despite Freedom Day delay

Speaking on the Chancellor’s proposed plan to reject calls for an extension of the furlough scheme, Simon Michaels says “The Chancellor finds himself in the ultimate ‘rock and a hard place’ over furlough. There is no question that furlough has enabled businesses to survive since March last year. Removing furlough too early will certainly result […]


25th May 2021

Deadline reminder: all you need to know about SEISS 4

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant has helped millions of self-employed people across the UK whose business and income has been affected by the pandemic. There have been three rounds of payments so far, with the deadline to make a claim for the fourth grant to be made on or before 1 June 2021. […]


20th April 2021

Bouncing back… at what cost?

Over 1.4 million businesses took out a Bounce Back Loan last year. The scheme, which closed to applications on 31 March 2021, was heralded as a lifeline to many businesses, giving them much needed confidence and optimism as they struggled against the backdrop of Covid restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, the trading environment has been persistently interrupted, with many finding it impossible […]


18th March 2021

Insights to thrive in 2021 from leading business advisers: A conversation with Linda Plant and Simon Michaels

Linda Plant is well-known for her no-nonsense business counsel on BBC’s The Apprentice, as one of Lord Sugar’s trusted advisors in the interview stage. With years of business experience under her belt after having built a successful fashion business from scratch, Linda has recently launched The Linda Plant Academy and the Business Blueprint Club to […]


3rd March 2021

Today’s budget: a short term recovery plan, but more detail to come… [UPDATED]

This Government has grappled with the largest deficit since World War Two and the need for a clear Covid recovery plan in this Budget. It is clear from the Chancellor’s speech yesterday that he has prioritised a short term recovery plan, which is welcomed by so many struggling UK businesses. However, the UK needs tax […]


29th January 2021

Business Interruption Insurance: what does the Supreme Court’s judgment mean for businesses?

The landmark Business Interruption Insurance court case came to an end this month as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of small businesses forced to close their doors nearly a year ago due to the pandemic. Here we share our guidance on what to do if your business has been affected by Covid-19 and are […]


5th January 2021

The Chancellor must now prioritise solving the relationship between Landlords and Tenants

Commenting on the latest financial support measures announced by the Chancellor today, Russell Nathan, head of our Hospitality team says: “The latest support offered today by the Chancellor for the retail, leisure and hospitality industries is of course welcome. These sectors have taken the biggest hit when it comes to the restrictions caused by the […]


14th December 2020

Where there is a challenge, there is opportunity! Reflections on 2020

2020 has been a year unlike any other. It has been a challenge for all of us, in all walks of professional and private lives, but where there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity! Our hope is the world starts to get back some form of relative “normality”, but that we learn from […]


11th December 2020

Taxation of SEISS grants: What you need to know

The extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been welcomed by many and will support small businesses until the end of the tax year. Although 2020-21 Self-Assessment returns are not due until 31 January 2022, it is worth looking at the taxation of the grants received and how this will affect your tax […]


8th December 2020

Future of hospitality – navigating prolonged uncertainty

It’s been a difficult year for our clients and friends in the hospitality industry. Businesses across the sector have had to push the boundaries of creativity, finding new ways to drive trade and give consumers a level of confidence to continue dining out as much as they can. With areas across the UK continuing to […]


27th November 2020

Are you virtual Christmas party ready?

Some good festive news to end on this month. There was some speculation that HMRC would not give the green light for UK employers to take advantage of the annual function exemption if they were holding a Christmas party virtually this year. The exemption means no tax or national insurance contributions are payable on costs relating to […]


25th November 2020

Accounting Implications of Covid-19 Support Under FRS102 [UPDATED]

With so many different loans and grants available to businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic there are many new challenges in how to account for the various support schemes available. Here we discuss some of the main forms of support available and being utilised by businesses and offer guidance as to how to account for these […]


18th November 2020

Covid-19: Top 10 considerations when it comes to protecting your business against fraud

Covid-19 changed the way we work overnight. And as we rapidly pivoted to working from home, the pandemic also changed the environment for criminals to commit fraud. As we adjust to a new way of working, it’s really important for companies to take stock and ensure that their systems, procedures and internal controls are adapting […]


11th November 2020

More help on its way for the self-employed! The SEISS scheme explained.

Following the announcement of a second lockdown, the government have announced an extension of the self-employed income support scheme. This scheme received praise during the first lockdown as it softened the blow for the majority of those who operate as self-employed. What does the second scheme mean? On 5 November 2020 it was announced that […]


5th November 2020

Furlough scheme extended until March – reaction from HW Fisher

Commenting on the announcements made by The Chancellor on an extension to furlough today, Simon Michaels, partner at accountancy firm HW Fisher said: Businesses will be able to breathe a sigh of relief for the first time in months. It’s not over yet, but an extension to furlough is a positive step. It continues to be […]


5th November 2020

All change! (again) – an overview of changes to Government support packages

We have lost count of the number of changes and announcements from The Chancellor that have been made since March. With the support available in a constant state of flux, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest measures. We have put together a simplified overview of what the latest measures mean and […]


30th October 2020

Life after Furlough: what we want to see from Government

As the Furlough period comes to an end, businesses in the hospitality sector will be taking a long hard look at their future. Despite a tough outlook, it has been positive to see the strength and determination across the industry. This week alone, we have seen businesses across the hospitality industry rally together in support […]


26th October 2020

The Chancellor’s latest support scheme – an FAQ

The latest Government measures come just weeks after the Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan and Extension to the Job Support Scheme. With the support available in a constant state of flux, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest measures. We have put together a simplified FAQ of what the latest measures mean and […]


22nd October 2020

Chancellor’s revised measures: It’s a big ask for employers to fund a ‘redundant workforce’

Commenting on the revised measures announced by The Chancellor today, Simon Michaels, CEO of Business Solutions at accountancy firm HW Fisher said: “This is clearly targeted at the most vulnerable businesses – hospitality, leisure and retail and of course any support is welcome. However will this be a sufficient incentive for businesses already struggling to […]


15th October 2020

Tier 2 lockdown measures catastrophic for the hospitality industry

Commenting on the Tier 2 restrictions announced today, Russell Nathan, head of hospitality, said: “The tier 2 lockdown measures announced today will be catastrophic for pubs and restaurants in London. This will result in a huge drop in revenue and with no financial help on offer from the government they are being served a double […]


14th October 2020

Covid-19 Support Schemes come to an end – what happens next?

Two of the Covid-19 funding schemes introduced by government to support businesses are coming to an end, with claim deadlines approaching this month. The second Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, announced in June, comes to an end this month. Self-employed taxpayers have until 19 October to claim the SEISS grant. The Coronavirus Job Retention […]


14th October 2020

Job Support Scheme Extension – your questions answered

The new measures come just two weeks after the Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan, where he announced the Job Support Scheme – billed at the time as a replacement for furlough. The support available is in a constant state of flux, and it can be difficult to keep up with the new measures, what they mean […]


9th October 2020

The Chancellor’s local furlough scheme – initial reactions from HW Fisher

Commenting on the announcements made by The Chancellor on furlough changes today, Russell Nathan, head of hospitality at accountancy firm HW Fisher said: “It’s a serious time for British business. The extension to furlough measures are reassuring, especially for those in hospitality who are forced to shut their doors, but the Government are still missing […]


24th September 2020

The Chancellor’s Winter Support Package – initial reactions from HW Fisher

Commenting on the announcements made by The Chancellor on a winter support package today, Simon Michaels, CEO of HW Fisher Business Solutions said: “It’s a serious time for British business. We’re six months into lockdown and businesses are feeling prolonged economic pain. The new jobs support scheme outlined is a positive step, but 6 months […]


23rd September 2020

New curfew for hospitality is another blow to the industry

Russell Nathan, hospitality expert at accountancy firm HW Fisher comments: “This announcement is another blow to the struggling hospitality industry, who have been patient and flexible throughout the pandemic. No doubt they will pivot successfully again to encourage earlier evening meals, but with distancing and the weather closing in, the outlook is simply not economically […]


23rd September 2020

Covid-19 recovery: make the most of additional funding available

Among some of the various Covid-19 recovery schemes introduced by government to support businesses, is a new, little known, fund of £20 million from which business can access grants. Who is eligible for these grants? The grants are available to small and medium sized businesses in England. The size of the grants are between £1,000 […]


15th September 2020

High Court – Business Interruption Insurance – businesses must now pay attention

Commenting on the decision made by the High Court today on the landmark Business Interruption Insurance case, Rafi Saville, forensic partner at accountancy firm HW Fisher said: “This is a landmark case and one of the most controversial legal issues resulting from the coronavirus crisis. Today’s decision will affect over 400,000 small and medium businesses […]


26th August 2020

Q&A: All you need to know about the Business Interruption Insurance court case

Nearly 400,000 small businesses are waiting to see if insurers will be forced to pay out on their business interruption policies after a landmark High Court case was heard in August. The issue of whether business interruption insurance policies cover pandemic-related losses is one of the most controversial legal issues resulting from the coronavirus crisis. […]


12th August 2020

Guidance for charities entering the second half of 2020

As we enter the second half of 2020, it is important for charities to take stock of best practices, and to lay a strong foundation for any future uncertainties that Covid-19 may present. In the past few months, the pandemic has had a seismic impact on the sector, and our charity team has put together […]


31st July 2020

Business Interruption Insurance – why businesses should follow the High Court case closely

The covid-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented financial challenges for businesses across the UK. For those in the hospitality and leisure industry, many have had to close their doors, on the advice of government, for several months and counting. The fate of many small businesses, particularly in the leisure industry, is now in the hands […]


30th July 2020

Eat Out to Help Out scheme is proving wildly unpopular

From August, The Eat Out to Help Out scheme will be introduced, however Russell Nathan, senior partner, explains why it might not be as popular as first thought: “The eat out to help out scheme was initially warmly received by the industry. However in practice, it’s proving to be widely unpopular among restaurateurs, independents in […]


20th July 2020

It’s time for businesses to rewrite the rulebook

If your business can’t wait until January for the retention bonus scheme, Simon Michaels, CEO of HW Fisher Business Solutions outlines what you can do in the short term to survive… Last week, the Chancellor announced a bonus for any furloughed staff that businesses retain. This is the latest measure to support businesses and bonuses […]


15th July 2020

Covid-19 – Time to buy or sell?

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected corporate buy and sell activity worldwide, with the first quarter of 2020 cited as being down 25% on 2019 with a further decrease thereafter. We have seen a number of companies delay or abandon deals entirely due to concerns over financial uncertainty. Despite the initial impact of Covid-19, a […]


15th July 2020

Post-lockdown divorce – why you need an expert

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for many people, with the monotony of working from home, the anxieties and frustrations of childcare and home schooling, plus sleepless nights caused by financial worries and concerns for our friends and family who we have not been able to visit. Unfortunately, along with all these problems, […]


8th July 2020

The Chancellor’s Summer Statement – initial reaction from HW Fisher

VAT should be reduced for the hospitality sector for a minimum of two years – January isn’t enough time to create long term certainty Our restaurants, pubs, shops and hotels are struggling. This is a timely announcement from Government as businesses are in desperate need of a clear action plan. It is vital we see […]


30th June 2020

Managing a responsible recovery

2020 marked the beginning of what the UN called the decade of delivery, the 10 years where governments, institutions and individuals would work with intent in order to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) the UN had set forth. Meaningful action had built momentum thanks to activists and, increasingly, investors. As we all know however, […]


25th June 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Flexible Furlough

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will enter its second phase on 1 July. From this date, it will be possible to “flexibly” furlough employees by allowing them to return to work on reduced working hours, but still receive support for the shortfall from their previous working pattern. With the increase in flexibility comes a […]


4th June 2020

Guidance for charities on serious incident reporting during Covid-19

The Charity Commission has provided guidance on what trustees need to consider in reporting serious incidents during and linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Having reviewed the guidance, there are several reporting scenarios that we would highlight as especially pertinent at this time, as outlined below. Charities must report if there is an outbreak of coronavirus […]


3rd June 2020

Extension of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grant

Along with an extension to the assistance for employers in the form of the flexible furlough scheme, the Chancellor has announced a second, if smaller, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. Mirroring the reduction in the CJRS, the new grant will cover a further three months of profits for business owners who qualified for the […]


3rd June 2020

Phase 2 of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS): A guide

After weeks of supporting businesses through lockdown, the Government is now assisting employers in easing their employees back into work as the restrictions are relaxed. With some limitations still applying, and uncertainty in the economy, the new rules allow employers to increase the time spent working, whilst still contributing towards the costs of maintaining employment […]


26th May 2020

Covid-19: Exemption for reimbursed home office equipment

It has been confirmed by the Treasury minister that organisations reimbursing staff for equipment purchased that enables them to work from home during the pandemic lockdown will not have to pay tax. We would caution however, that this exemption may not be as generous as it first appears. Generally, the rules on what an employee […]


12th May 2020

A Guide to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) [Updated]

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, announced on 19 March 2020, the Government has put arrangements in place to provide grants to cover 80% of the salary of PAYE employees (up to a capped level) who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Updates since scheme launch: On 12 May, the Chancellor announced: […]


7th May 2020

Helping our clients through Covid-19: Stories of how we have been supporting our clients secure government loans

Financial Support for the Retail Sector Client: Sole trader – designer Loan secured: £200,000 from HSBC through CBILS Approach: Through internal collaboration we were able to identify that the client was in need of financial support and it was passed through to the HWF Business Solutions team. We assisted in providing proforma documents for the […]


4th May 2020

A guide to the Coronavirus ‘bounce back’ small loan scheme

Originally announced by the Chancellor on 27 April, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme  (BBLS) opened for applications on 4th May. This microloan is to help small and medium sized businesses struggling to obtain other sources of Government backed funding. The scheme will be delivered by lenders accredited by the British Business Bank and will provide loans from […]


1st May 2020

Temporary VAT relief on PPE

HMRC has announced the temporary relief from VAT of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). With effect from 1 May 2020, supplies of PPE will qualify to be zero-rated for VAT purposes until 31 July 2020. Previously, such supplies were subject to VAT at 20%.  This will be a boost to the NHS and also to the […]


28th April 2020

Guidance for SMEs: your key questions answered

The government has issued, and in some cases subsequently revised, measures to support SMEs during this time. Here, Simon Michaels and Jonathan Bourne answer some key questions associated with the schemes in place to help SMEs. If you have any questions or need guidance for your business, please get in touch directly. Which employers are […]


22nd April 2020

Support for self-employed individuals: your questions answered

The Government has only recently issued its help package for the self-employed during the impact of Covid-19 and many questions remain outstanding. Our Partners have answered some key questions for anyone who is self-employed and is looking for clarification on how to navigate the government guidance and what the best action to take is during […]


22nd April 2020

Guidance for charities: your key questions answered

In the current circumstances we know a lot of charities are having to change the way they operate to ensure fundraising and funding can continue through the impact of Covid-19. Our charity department answer some key questions for anyone associated with a charity, looking for clarification on what the best action is for these organisations […]


22nd April 2020

Covid-19 Support for Innovative Companies

On 20 April 2020 the Government announced a support package for innovative firms facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. The new package includes: An investment fund called the Future Fund which will issue convertible loans between and million to high-growth companies Grants and loans available to SMEs focusing on research and development (R&D) […]


21st April 2020

Partnering with clients through Covid-19 – Stories of how we have been supporting and advising clients

Helping the Retail Industry Keep Up-to-Date and Make Well-Informed Decisions for the Future Partner: Ross Fabian Client: European distributor for a sports footwear brand Advising on: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme During the last two weeks, the global pandemic has escalated into a financial crisis in the UK, as businesses […]


20th April 2020

A Guide to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

20 April 2020 The Government’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) launched officially on 20 April 2020. Originally announced by the Chancellor on 2 April, further details were released on 17 April expanding the loans to cover all viable firms. It aims to provide finance to UK mid-cap and larger enterprises during the Covid-19 […]


9th April 2020

Covid-19 support for charities – current funding initiatives available

In the current circumstances we know a lot of charities are having to change the way they operate to ensure fundraising and funding can continue. In response to this, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a UK-wide £750m package to support charities during the coronavirus pandemic. The measures involve cash grants for charities providing key services […]


9th April 2020

Financial Reporting Implications of Covid-19

The uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 has huge implications on financial reporting. All company directors have a responsibility to prepare financial statements that give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the profit or loss for the period. However, the implications of Covid-19 can make this very complex. Difficulties […]


8th April 2020

How we have been supporting clients through Covid-19

Preparing to Keep a Healthcare Company Afloat in the Absence of Patients Partner: Joel Courts Client: Dental sector Advising on: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme My client is in the medical/dental sector and was forced to stop seeing patients due to government advice. When we discussed what the options were, […]


31st March 2020

Claiming a grant under the Covid-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme – advice for authors

You can use this scheme if you’re self-employed as an individual or in a partnership and have lost income because of coronavirus. You can apply as long as your 2018/19 self-assessment tax return has been submitted by 23 April 2020. You also need to have continued your professional writing activities in 2019/20, to still be […]


31st March 2020

Claiming a grant under the Covid-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme – advice for actors

You can use this scheme if you’re self-employed as an individual or in a partnership and have lost income because of coronavirus. You can apply as long as your 2018/19 self-assessment tax return has been submitted by 23 April 2020. You also need to have continued your professional acting activities in 2019/20, to still be […]


30th March 2020

Claiming a grant under the Covid-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme – advice for musicians

You can use this scheme if you’re self-employed as an individual or in a partnership and have lost income because of coronavirus. You can apply as long as your 2018/19 self-assessment tax return has been submitted by 23 April 2020. You also need to have continued your activities as a professional musician in 2019/20, to […]


28th March 2020

Covid-19 guidance webinar series – advice for businesses, the self-employed and charities

Over the past few weeks, the UK Government has announced a host of packages to support individuals and businesses through the impacts felt by the coronavirus outbreak. We recently hosted a series of free webinars for SMEs, the self-employed and charities, advising on what the Government is offering and how clients can access it if […]


27th March 2020

Support for the self-employed – an outline of the new measures

Who is eligible for the support? Despite the Chancellor’s saying that the package for the self-employed provides parity with employees, there are some very material differences. The first is the scope of eligibility. There appears to be no support at all for anyone with an income in excess of per annum. To be eligible for […]


26th March 2020

Covid-19 – Advice for Authors

We’re living through unprecedented times; it’s not going to be easy and we are all going to have to work together to get through it. Many of you will have questions on what this will mean from a financial perspective and where you go from here. There is a certain amount of help and support […]


25th March 2020

VAT Payments Holiday – Key Points Summarised

On 20 March 2020 the UK Government announced temporary changes to the VAT system, as part of a package of measures in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The main points are as follows: The deferral of most VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020; This therefore includes the VAT Return payments […]


23rd March 2020

COVID-19 – Guidance for Business

19th March 2020 The Government has issued COVID-19 guidance for employers and small businesses. The guidance assists employers with issues facing the health and wellbeing of employees as well as informing them of certifying absences from work. Directors who have to temporarily close their business due to COVID-19 may be able to access support in […]


23rd March 2020

COVID-19 – Government Support for Business Explained

19th March 2020 The Government has issued COVID-19 guidance for employers and small businesses. The guidance assists employers with issues facing the health and wellbeing of employees as well as informing them of certifying absences from work. The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people […]


23rd March 2020

A Guide to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

23rd March 2020 The Government announced in the Budget on 11th March 2020 that Small and Medium sized companies (with turnover up to million) would be able to access the “Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme”, from the week commencing 23 March 2020. The scheme has seen a number of updates since it was announced, and […]