The Chancellor has delivered a summer statement setting out his plans to help the economy recover from the devastating effecting of Coronavirus.
As has become the way of Rishi Sunak during this period, he managed to surprise most commentators with an extensive and creative package of measures designed to target support at the most affected and vulnerable parts of the economy.
One of the areas affected significantly from the pandemic is of course, the hospitality sector. Rishi Sunak therefore introduced the new ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme which offers a discount to diners in a bid to encourage them to eat at participating restaurants. The scheme will be available all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from the 3rd to 31st of August 2020. The idea is that restaurants will offer a 50% discount up to a maximum of £10.00 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in. These restaurants can then claim this money back from the Government.
There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.
Who can register?
You can register from the 13th July 2020 if your establishment:
- sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
- provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
- was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July
You cannot register:
- an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
- catering services for private functions
- a hotel that provides room service only
- dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
- mobile food vans or trailers
If your application is based on dishonest or inaccurate information, your registration will be revoked.
What you’ll need
To register, you must have:
- your Government Gateway ID and password (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register)
- the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25
- the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
- the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)
You may also need your:
- VAT registration number (if applicable)
- employer PAYE scheme reference number (if applicable)
- Corporation Tax or Self-Assessment unique taxpayer reference
If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each. If you’re registering more than 25 establishments that are part of the same business, you do not have to provide details for each one. You should provide a link to a website which contains details of each establishment participating in the scheme including the trading name and address. You may also need to provide a list to HMRC on request, with details of all participating establishments.
When you start offering the discount
You should wait until you’re registered before you offer discounts to your customers. You cannot offer discounts before 3 August. When you register for the scheme, it is expected that you will offer it during the whole of your opening hours on all the eligible days that you are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink. If a customer purchases a meal with the intention of eating it but then takes it away and leaves the premises, you can still apply the discount.
Records you must keep
For each day you’re using the scheme, you must keep records of the:
- total number of people who have used the scheme in your establishment
- total value of transactions under the scheme
- total amount of discounts you’ve given
If you are using the scheme for more than one establishment, you must keep these records for each.
Making a claim
You cannot claim yet. The service you’ll use to claim reimbursements will be available on 7 August 2020. The service will close on 30 September. You must wait 7 days from registration to make your first claim. HMRC will pay eligible claims within 5 working days. You will be able to submit claims on a weekly basis. You’ll still need to pay VAT based on the full amount of your customers’ bills. Any money you receive through the scheme will be treated as taxable income.
HMRC will provide more guidance on how to make a claim when the registration service is open.
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