Only 25% of the £ 20million Brexit Assistance Fund cash has been requested

Originally written by Timothy Adler about small business

Less than 25 percent of the £ 20m Brexit Assistance Fund to help small businesses transition to Brexit has been requested.

Actual applications for the Brexit Support Fund have lagged far behind the initial rates and the program is expected to expire in weeks before July.

HM Revenue & Customs has received fewer than 3,000 applications since March for the £ 2,000 grant totaling £ 4.3m. The HMRC had expected around 10,000 applications.

> See also: Small business will spend £ 23 billion this year alone to protect Covid

According to the Times, companies are being asked to go through too much red tape when applying for the Brexit grant.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove launched the Brexit Support Fund in March and accepted that companies need support to adapt to the new import controls, which will be fully implemented on July 1st.

The Institute of Export and International Trade, which provides training as part of the program, said business demand for overseas trade assistance remains high.

A spokesperson attributed the lower than expected utilization of the program, which can be applied for by the end of this month, to the complexity of the process administered by the auditors PwC.

“It wasn’t as clear or as quick as people had hoped. We are not seeing any utilization as much as we would expect given the level of interest, ”the institute told the newspaper.

The UK Chamber of Commerce asked HMRC to “relax” entry requirements and “double” the funds available for the program administered by the auditors PwC.

Liam Smyth, director of trade facilitation, told the Times, “Applications for the program were high to begin with, but the numbers fell as it became clear how many tires companies would have to jump through. Business owners and directors struggled with the system, all for only £ 2,000, and many decided it was just too difficult. “

What is the Brexit Support Fund?

The regulation is intended to help small and medium-sized enterprises to adapt to the new customs, origin and VAT regulations in their trade with the EU.

What can I use the SME Brexit Support Fund for?

The scholarship holders can use the scholarship for training courses for:

  • How to fill out customs declarations
  • How to manage customs processes and use customs software
  • Specific import and export related aspects including excise duties, VAT and rules of origin rules

It can also be used to get professional advice to help your business meet its customs, excise and sales tax requirements or your safety obligations.

Can i apply?

In order to apply, your company must:

  • Be based in the UK
  • You have been resident or currently have Authorized Economic Operator status in the UK for at least 12 months prior to filing the application
  • You have not previously failed to meet tax or customs obligations
  • Have no more than 500 employees
  • You have no more than £ 1m in sales
  • Import or export goods between the UK and the EU, or move goods between the UK and Northern Ireland

In addition, your company must either:

  • Fill in (or intend to fill out) import or export declarations for your own goods internally
  • Hire someone else to fill out import or export declarations, but need additional skills internally to import or export effectively (e.g.

How do I apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund?

Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) manages the grant, which runs through the end of the year June 30, 2021. It can close earlier if the allocated funds are distributed before that date.

Apply for the grant here.

For further support, companies can use the special HMRC import and export inquiry service on 0300 322 9434 or via online web chat.

The Brexit Checker Tool on GOV.UK also provides companies with a personalized list of actions they need to take.

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Only 25% of the £ 20million Brexit Assistance Fund cash has been requested

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