Time to claim your grant if you are self-employed.

The portal opens this week to claim your grant is you are self-employed. This is capped as a taxable lump sum of £7500. Once your claim is approved the money will be in your bank account within 6 working days.

To check whether you are eligible for this grant click hereDirectors of limited companies are NOT eligible for the scheme.

This is essentially ‘free’ money for sole traders whose business has been adversely impacted by Coronavirus. You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus. This could be because you have been unable to work, or Coronavirus has reduced the demand for your services/products.

We cannot make the claim on your behalf. (And that’s HMRC’s decision, not our decision) But we can help you decide whether you are eligible.

To make the claim you will need some important numbers:

  • Your self-assessment unique taxpayer reference number (UTR).
  • Your National Insurance Number

Click on this link to go to the portal

HMRC will then tell you if you are eligible, and the date you’ll be able to make your claim from.

If you can claim straight away, then you’ll also need your:

  • Government Gateway user ID and password (if you don’t have one of these you will be asked to create a gateway account when you check your eligibility)
  • UK bank details including:
    • Bank account number
    • Sort code
    • Name on the account
    • Your address linked to your bank account

At the moment we don’t know whether this scheme will be extended.

If you need any help please email jade@1accounts.co.uk


The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October, 

The key points announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak are: 

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October 
  • furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500 
  • new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost economy 

The Government stated as we reopen the economy, we need to support people to get back to work. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. 

The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month. 

New statistics published today revealed the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses. 

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August.  

The government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period. It will also continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations to ensure the scheme supports people across the Union. 

The Chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme, which will continue to apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy, comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

 Full text see here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october?utm_source=469e4bd6-b6c1-4149-a76b-97f84a86bb07&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate 


HMRC have emailed an update for employers on CJRS. See: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHMRCED/bulletins/28aefce 

You can subscribe to HMRC updates on the above link to receive these if you are not already doing so. 


Save and return option now added

In response to feedback from claimants using the service, HMRC have added a ‘save and return’ option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go. 

HMRC guidance on making a claim 

When you make a claim through CJRS, you should receive the funds within six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that HMRC hold for your PAYE scheme.  

Making sure that you submit your claim correctly will reduce the chance of any delayed or wrong payments. 

These steps should help keep the process as straight forward as possible: 

  • read the guidance before you apply, to find this go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’, there is a step-by-step guide to applying and a calculator 
  • check your employees are eligible, by looking at the guidance on GOV‌.UK 
  • check your calculations each time you submit a claim, in case any details have changed 
  • only submit one claim per pay period – you cannot submit another claim for overlapping periods; this means that in each claim you should include all furloughed employees paid during that period 
  • if you have missing National Insurance numbers for employees, do try and find them so it doesn’t delay your claim; if an employee doesn’t have a National Insurance number yet, you should contact HMRC in order to complete your claim; go to GOV‌.UK and search for ‘get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ to find out how to contact us 
  • double check all the information in the claim before you submit it, including your bank details. 

We understand that sometimes you might make an error in your claim, and HMRC are working on a process to enable you to amend a claim. In the meantime, please do not amend your next claim to reflect any errors that you may have made in a previous one, as this could delay payment. If HMRC spot an error then, where possible, they will contact you or your agent to correct the claim. 

Reopening your business checklist ​

After Boris’ speech on Sunday, selected businesses are now allowed to open under the new HSE guidelines. If you are considering opening your Business work your way through our checklist to make sure it is the right time to open and that you have all the steps in place to make a safe environment for you and your team. 

1. Do we have a plan to reopen with ‘social distancing’ in place when our business is legally allowed to?

  1. Do we have a supply of hand sanitiser available for all entrances and exits used by staff and customers?
  2. Can these sanitisers to be fixed in place to minimise theft?
  3. Have we done a deep clean of our premises?
  4. Do we have a supply of face masks for staff? If possible branded? Contact Kiiwii. 
  5. Have we worked out how to minimise the risk to staff by introducing social distancing wherever possible? E.g. spacing out seating, staggering shift times or rotas, placing visual markers where queues form to help people socially distance?

2. Do we have a plan to reengage with staff who have been furloughed?

  1. Are they physically able to return to work? And on what basis?
  2. What hours do we need them to work? And does this require formal HR assistance if there is a major impact to their working hours or contract? 
  3. What training will they need to be safe and competent doing their job?
  4. Will they need to be reskilled or reassigned? And how will this happen?

3. Have we forecasted the impact of social distancing on our business?

  1. Reduced demand and capacity?
  2. Cash flow? Turnover? Profit?
  3. Resource requirements?
  4. Parents of school age children may still need to be at home with their children?

4. Have we identified ways to reduce the need for customers to physically be on our premises?

  1. Telephone and/or internet ordering?
  2. Photos or videos of our products/services on our website?
  3. Deliveries to customer homes?
  4. Click and collect?

5. Have we done a risk assessment and implemented recommendations to minimise the risk to our staff?

  1. How to reduce contact in our offices and premises?
  2. Increased cleaning of all surfaces?
  3. Education and training to staff on how they will play their part to keep everyone safe?

6. Have we identified ways to increase demand for our business’s services or products whilst still remaining ‘COVID-19’ secure?

  1. New products or services which will be in demand?
  2. Different ways of delivering the service or fulfilling the order or demand?
  3. New channels to market? E.g. direct to consumers?

If you would like some help and advice about re-opening your business please contact jade@1accounts.co.uk

What has changed? ​

On Sunday Boris Johnson addressed the UK and gave a speech that confused the nation. Stay alert, control the virus, save lives. Full of contradictions the speech lacked clarity and direction leaving the UK feeling lost. Yesterday, in parliament we gained a little more clarity on the road map, however each step is conditional to the spread of the virus and still lacks detail on how business will be able to reopen and when people will be able to see their families. So what has changed? We have written a summery of the changes so far in the roadmap, all of which are subject to change if the virus escalates. For the full documentation please click here. 

Phase One – Effective from 13th May

  • For the foreseeable future, workers who are able to work from home should continue.
  • Workers who are unable to work from home should travel to work where possible.
  • Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open, should be open. This includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution & scientific research in laboratories. These business should follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines that will be published this week.
  • People should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t always possible. If your business would like branded face masks please contact Kiiwii Clothing.
  • People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish. Making sure social distancing is still in effect.
  • People may drive to outdoor open spaces as long as social distancing is adhered to.
  • People can meet up with one other person not from their household to exercise with, providing they stay two metres apart. Paul will be happy as he will be able to play golf again.
  • Vulnerable people to continue to minimise contact with others outside their households, but do not need to be shielded.

Phase Two – Effective from June 1st (at the earliest)

  • A phased return for schools. The department of education will engage closely with schools and nurseries to develop detail and guidance on how schools can facilitate this.
  • Opening non-essential retail. Hospitality and personal care are not included in this phase.
  • Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors to be broadcasted. 
  • The re-opening of more local public transport. Subject to strict measures.
  • Potentially allow people to expand their household group to include one other household.
  • The Government is also looking into how to facilitate small weddings.

Phase Three – Effective from July 4th (at the earliest)

  • To open personal care businesses, such as hairdressers and beauty salons.
  • To open hospitality, such as restaurants, pubs and accommodation.
  • To open public places, such as places of worship.
  • To open leisure facilities, such as cinemas.

These steps are all subject to following the COVID-19 secure guidelines. Venues that are naturally crowded and cannot execute social distancing may still not be able to open.

Each phase will be monitored and the Government have expressed that they will not hesitate to lock everything down again if the virus escalates. Social distancing must be followed to be able to move forward with the roadmap.

Going ‘back to normal’ seems a long way off. But the most important thing, is for everyone to stay safe and healthy.

Have you got a government gateway?

The help and advice that is available from the Government is forever changing. This is the latest update we have on how to apply for the self-employed grant. 

For those who are eligible, you will receive an EMAIL, not a letter as we had thought. Be aware that there are lots of phishing emails out there, HMRC’s email does not ask you to click on anything.

If you are unsure if you are eligible please follow this link –  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme. Please make sure to put capital letters for your NI number otherwise it will fail. If you believe you are eligible but the calculator is failing, please get in touch and we will try and help.   

If you qualify you will be able to claim from the 13th/18th of May. To claim you will need a Government Gateway! 

If you do not have one, please follow these steps to set one up. We recommend you do this NOW to avoid any delays. 


If you have forgotten your username and/or password you can get these reset with HMRC. 


From what we have seen, we will not be able to claim your grant through our gateway. This could change, but to avoid the delays in getting your grant please make sure your gateway is set up. 

If you need help applying please email jade@1accounts.co.uk 

How has Paul kept positive during lockdown?

1 Accounts is a family run business with the Donno family all depending on the businesses survival. When lockdown was announced, Paul could have panicked – but he didn’t he stayed calm, collected his thoughts and worked out how to overcome the biggest crisis businesses have faced since the war.

So what has Paul done to stay positive?

In early March, when the virus was just being mentioned just in passing, Paul brought hand sanitiser and additional hand wash for the office. He also increased the frequency of cleaning to the office and communal areas. We also started to change all our meetings to ‘Zoom’ meetings. This was still early days and the team thought Paul was mad but as usual humoured him.

Two weeks later we were all working from home. 

Panic mode

With the help of Platform 365 and Convergence communications, the 1 Accounts team adjusted quickly to working from home. With a morning and afternoon team zoom call to keep in touch. However, for our clients, this wasn’t always possible causing anxiety for Paul and the team. After all if our clients were to ‘go under’ we would go with them.

As a businesses owner, you can often feel alone, with the weight of the world on your shoulders. However this situation has proven to Paul, that this could not be further from the truth.

Our team have really adapted and supported our clients and helped take pressure away from Paul. We are so grateful for our amazing team and are thankful they have all stayed safe and well. Testimonials and feedback from clients has helped to keep all our spirits up, they have been wonderful and uplifting. Keep them coming.

Our clients, some who are under immense pressure have also realised that we are under pressure too, and many have been very considerate and supportive.

A pain point for Paul was the banks struggling to get money out to clients. This has now been rectified with the ‘bounce back loan’ but it caused a lot of anxiety for many of our clients and us.

Great minds think alike

One of the biggest helps to Paul has been being a member of the Accountants Millionaires Club (something to aspire to!). His business coach Heather Townsend (founder of the club) and her team have supported Paul and other accountants through this situation.

Every morning Paul meets with other like-minded accountants and they share the previous days experiences from furloughing, bank loans, software issues, growing veg, guide dog support and general day to day things. The group has some real characters and has without a doubt kept Paul positive.

Paul recommends that even if you are talking ‘with the enemy’ try and support each other. Talking to other businesses, like yours, may give you ideas and help you realise you are not alone! We are all in this together and it is nice to talk with other businesses to get a real sense of community.

Sharing your thoughts with like minded people really does work and saves on the wine stocks too!