Find out what grants you can apply for to get funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements if your business completes customs declarations.
You can apply for 3 grants to help your business complete customs declarations.
You can apply to get funding for training that helps your business to complete customs declarations and processes.
Additionally, if you are a customs intermediary, you can get funding for:
- hiring new staff to help your business complete customs declarations
- IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently
Who can apply
Your business must:
- be established in, or have a branch in the UK when the grant is paid to you
- not have previously failed to meet its tax obligations – we’ll check our records to decide if we can offer your business a grant
You can apply for just one of the grants, or all of them.
To apply for the grant, your business must:
- currently complete customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters
- have been established in the UK for at least 12 months
To apply for the training grant, your business must either:
- complete customs declarations for yourself or someone else (or intend to in the future)
- import from, or export to the EU and complete customs declarations (or intend to complete customs declarations in the future)
IT improvements grant
To apply for the IT improvements grant, your business must:
- currently complete customs declarations for importers and exporters
- have 250 employees or fewer
- have an annual turnover of less than €50 million
What you must use the grants for
You must use the funding to cover the recruitment and salary costs of new employees from 1 October 2019, who will help your business complete customs declarations.
The training must give you or your employees the skills to:
- complete customs declarations
- carry out customs processes – this can include relevant training in safety and security
- help other businesses with import and export processes
The training does not have to lead to a formal qualification.
If you want to arrange the training internally, you can use the funding for the cost of delivering the training, like related stationery, room hire and catering.
If the training will be delivered by an in-house trainer, you can also use the funding to cover the (reasonable) day rate of the trainer.
You cannot use the funding:
- towards the existing costs of current training
- for other unrelated training
You can also use the grant to reimburse what your business has spent on relevant training since 31 July 2019.
You must use the funding to buy software that will help your business to complete customs declarations more efficiently.
It must be a ready-made solution - you cannot use the funding to commission bespoke software.
You can also use the funding to:
- buy hardware that’s needed for the software to run
- install and configure the software and hardware
- buy the first year licence
- train employees to use the software
You cannot use the funding for unrelated networking costs.
You can also use the grant to reimburse what your business has spent on relevant IT improvements since 31 July 2019.
Amounts of funding available
These grants will give you up to 200,000 euros (the maximum amount of state aid available). This limit applies to the total of all grant applications.
The grant will give you £3,000 for each employee.
You could also get up to £10,000 for any employee you recruit before 31 January 2021, to cover up to 3 months’ salary.
You will receive the funding for recruitment costs and 50% of the eligible salary costs upfront. The remaining 50% of salary costs will be paid when the employee has been in post for one month.
The grant will give you up to 100% of the cost of training for your employees, up to a limit of £2,250 for each course.
It will also cover the cost of training you run internally, up to a limit of £250 for each employee on the course.
The grant will give you 100% of the costs relating to your IT expenditure to improve the efficiency of making customs declarations.
What you’ll need
When you apply, you’ll be asked for your business’s:
- registered name and number
- contact details
- VAT number (if this applies)
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
- most recent utility bill
Depending on which grant you’re applying for, you’ll also need to provide some information about what you’ll use the funding for.
You’ll be asked to complete a short application setting out how the money will be used. You’ll need to give information about:
- why you expect your business to need more staff
- the stage your recruitment process is at
- your reasons for expecting to have any new staff employed before 31 January 2021
To get the second 50% of eligible salary costs, you’ll need to provide for each new employee:
- their contract of employment
- first month payslip
You’ll be asked for:
- a quote for the cost of the training
- the CV of the trainer if the training will be delivered internally
IT improvements grant
You’ll be asked for:
- details of the software you intend to buy
- quotes for the cost of:
- buying and installing the software
- buying and installing related hardware
- training employees to use the software
How to apply
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.
After you’ve applied
If your application is successful you’ll get a grant offer letter.
You’ll need to submit proof of how much you’ve spent on IT improvements or training within 2 months of getting the grant offer letter.
You’ll then get the grant within 30 days. It’ll be paid by Bacs to a UK bank account in the name of the person who applied.
How to treat the grants for tax
When calculating your business’s taxable profits, you need to match the treatment of the grant to the expense covered by the grant. For example, if the training expense is deductible, then you should include the amount of grant in your calculation of taxable profits so that the expense is offset.
If your business has spent more on capital expenditure (like IT equipment) than is covered by the grant, you can get capital allowance on the amount not covered by the grant.
Your business cannot get capital allowance on the amount of grant covering the cost of your business’s capital expenditure.