Tough times ahead for rural businesses as Coronavirus support withdrawn

15 Oct 2021

tractor ploughing field

As the Coronavirus government support schemes close, Martyn Dobinson, partner at Saffery and a member of the firm’s Landed Estates and Rural Business Group, says that individuals and businesses across the rural sector will have to face up to tougher times as lifeline support is withdrawn and thoughts turn to repayment of that support.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) closed on 30 September with final claims having had to be made by the 14 October deadline. Claimants have until 28 October to advise of any amendments to claims made. The final round of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) closed on 30 September. Both the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed for new applications earlier this year on 31 March. The Recovery Loan Scheme remains open until 31 December 2021.

Martyn commented:

“Clearly, we are yet to see the full impact of the ending of the government’s Covid-19 support measures, particularly the CJRS or furlough scheme, and how that might translate into job losses. With other pressures on the sector, particularly from large increases in operating costs, it seems likely that there will be casualties as we move into the winter.

“Income support received through the government schemes, such as CJRS and SEISS, must be reported separately on tax returns and taken into consideration in determining taxable income or profits for income tax and corporation tax purposes.

“HMRC will undoubtedly continue to pursue incorrect claims, and we may see additional measures to recoup erroneous or fraudulent claims announced by the Chancellor as part of his Autumn Budget on 27 October.

“It is even more important for businesses facing additional pressures in these challenging times to talk to their advisors, so that mitigation measures can be discussed with HMRC at the earliest opportunity, and plans put in place to ease passage through what for many will be a very difficult times ahead.”