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April 16th 2020

Coronavirus: how to claim grants under the Job Retention Scheme

Here's a summary of the guidance published this morning:

How to claim

  • the online claim service will be launched on gov.uk on 20 April 2020;
  • the only way to make a claim is online;
  • businesses can use their normal payroll agent provided the agent has authorisation to act on PAYE matters;
  • claimants using an agent need to tell their agent which UK bank account the grant money is to be paid to;
  • businesses can alternatively make claims themselves;
  • claims should be paid within 6 working days.

Scholes Chartered Accountants offers a full CJRS claim preparation and submission service for clients who wish to outsource all aspects of the claim preparation and submission activities. Details available on request.

Recent changes to the scheme

Some important changes to the original Scheme rules have also been announced:

  • a business can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March and on the payroll on or before that date (previously they had to be on the payroll on 28 February);
  • a business can claim in respect of employees that were employed as of 28 February but were made redundant after that date and before 19 March - provided the employee is re-employed and then furloughed

Information that is needed to be able to claim

Claimants will require the following:

  • a Government Gateway ID and password - if the business does not have a GG account, it can apply for one online;
  • enrolment for PAYE online - if the business is not already enrolled, it can apply online;
  • the following information about each furloughed employee:
    • name;
    • National Insurance number;
    • claim period and amount;
    • PAYE/ employee number (optional).

A business with fewer than 100 furloughed staff will have to input information directly into the portal for each employee; those with more than 100 furloughed employees will be allowed to upload a file containing the employee information, in one of the following formats: .xls; .xlsx; .csv; .ods.

The claim process will therefore be a significant administrative burden, especially for smaller business with less than 100 furloughed employees.

Timing of claims

HMRC envisages that claims will normally be made "shortly before, or during running payroll". Claims can be backdated until 1 March (or as far back as employees were first furloughed).

Contact our payroll team today if you wish to discuss any of the topics covered in this blog.

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