Your guide to the COVID-19 financial relief initiatives and what you need to apply

Your guide to the COVID-19 financial relief initiatives and what you need to apply

– Siphokazi Matiwane, Director Cornerstone Tax and Accounting Services

The COVID-19 global pandemic coupled with the nationwide lockdown has left many small business owners fearful of their future. With most of the country confined to their homes, sales and cashflows are heavily impacted. Fortunately, there are multiple avenues of relief that have been put into place by the South African government as well as multiple private institutions, that aim to offer financial aid to small business who have been affected by the pandemic.

Although the application for most of these funds have been greatly simplified, they still require multiple financial documents in order to validate your business sustainability, prove income loss due to COVID-19, ensuring no identity fraud is committed etc. Government have announced that they will be extra strict with these applications to ensure no foul play or corruption slips in.

Cornerstone Tax and Accounting Services are experts when it comes to ensuring a company’s financial and payroll documentation is up to date and fully compliant. That’s why we have compiled a quick summary of all the documents you’ll need to apply for most relief funds. This will help you get your application in quickly and correctly while making sure it’s as successful as it can be.

Please note that each relief fund has its own criteria and application process and our list is by no means exhaustive. Make sure you have studied and understand the requirements of each relief fund before applying. If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything when applying, contact Cornerstone Tax and Accounting Services today. We will be able to assist you swiftly and accurately.

Here are the most common documents you’ll need to apply for most relief funds:

Up to date financial statements

If you have been running your own business for a while, you will know the importance of financial statements. Your accountant or bookkeeper should produce these at least once a year. If you are unsure why you need financial statements, click here to find out.

SARS compliance certificate

Obtainable from SARS or via your tax consultant. If you don’t know where to find your tax clearance certificate, click here to contact us and we’ll help you out.

UIF compliance certificate

Get your UIF compliance directly from UIF or ask your payroll administrator to get it for you. This is vital if you are applying for salary relief for your employees. You will also need to provide essential information of all employees, including their banking details (UIF will deposit the funds directly into their bank accounts).

Cashflow projections

Most small businesses will already have these in place. In short, cashflow projections or a cashflow forecast is a plan that shows how much money a business expects to receive in, and pay out, over a given period of time. Most relief fund applications require at least a 6-month forecast.

Certified ID copies of directors and other FICA documentation

This is self-explanatory, however it’s important to note that you can certify your ID at any post office or police station, both of which are open during the lockdown.

Delayed PAYE payments

Although this initiative isn’t something you need to apply for, it’s important to mention it. In short, all small businesses will be able to underpay PAYE by 20% for the next 3 – 6 months without penalty. This is to help alleviate the strain of cashflows within small businesses. It’s vital to understand that this is not a total pardon from payment, but simply a delay. Meaning business owners will still be liable for the full PAYE contributions at the end of the relief period.

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