Update #4: Business Support Application Forms – FAQs

1st April 2020 – FAQs on the application forms for Small Business Grants and Payroll Co-Funding.

Updated on 13th April 2020 to correct misinformation now clarification received from the Revenue Service. We have shown as strike through where we provided inaccurate advice, based on knowledge available at the time.

We recommend you refer to our latest FAQ circulation instead of the below.

1. As a business owner can I count myself as one of the employees on the Payroll Co-Funding Scheme as well as applying for a Small Business Grant?

If you are already on the payroll then yes.  If you are relying on drawings (e.g. you are a sole trader) then state that and average your annual drawings to derive your monthly salary.

Revenue Service have clarified to advise self employed can’t apply for payroll co-funding. You can apply for the grant if less than 10 staff.

2. I have been trading less than six months, it is a valid new business and my primary source of income.  The rules state I am excluded but can I still apply with additional supporting information?
Our advice is that you should submit a claim form and add additional explanation on your email when submitting.  Your claim will not be automatically agreed, it may be rejected and then reviewed separately.  We anticipate this process will take longer than the applications that fit into the criteria of trading for more than six months.

3. I am trading as a partnership, can we all claim the £3,000 grant or can we only claim one between us?
We believe it is one per business, but have queried now we know that payroll co-funding is not available.

4. What is my Business Tax ID?
If you are a sole trader then this is your personal tax reference. If you are trading as a limited company then this is the Company Tax Reference.

5. What is the Employer Tax ID?
This is the reference on your quarterly ETI return. You can find it on your printed quarterly return.

6. The grant is only available to small businesses, how big is a small business?
A business that has 10 or fewer employees including the owner.

7. How do I work out my annual turnover?
Use your last set of accounts. If you are a new business or trading has changed significantly since the last accounts then add up all income receipts for 12 months.

8. How do I work out my estimated lost net income for next 3 months?
The form states net income is income less direct costs, but businesses define direct costs differently.  The States are trying to assess the level of business loss you have incurred in those three months. Therefore you need to provide the difference in profit between the current situation and the profit you would have generated without the Coronovirus impact on your business.

9. What is SOG Vendor Account
If you currently provide services to the states – check your paperwork with them for this number.  If you don’t have a vendor number just put ‘no’ and leave the field blank.

10. Some of my staff work 40 hours a week, some less than 35.  What do I claim on the Payroll Co-Funding Scheme?
Claim the hours in line that previously worked by an employee. If an employee previously worked 45 hours a week they can claim minimum wage for 45 hours a week. If they only worked on average 15 hours a week they can claim 15 hours a week.

11. When did the Payroll Co-Funding Scheme cover start?
It’s a month by month application for reimbursement of earned income, since 16th March.

12. I already submitted my form, but now realise I should have included myself on the payroll?
Reply to all on your first email and attach a corrected form, noting that on your email.  Don’t wait for them to process and then advise.

13. Is the grant tax free?
Yes and it is a grant, not a repayable loan.

14. Another accountant has advised me differently?
Bear with us, we are all trying to interpret these new schemes, so if in doubt ask us and we will look into.

15. Are your previous emails on States of Guernsey Business Support measures easy to find in one place?
Yes of course!  See https://degaris.gg/articles/

Stay safe.

With thanks to Richard Stapley (Richard Stapley Chartered Accountants) and Sarah Hancock (Brehon Accountants Limited) who worked with the States’ team and the CGi to provide some of the original information included above.