The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Portal is officially open!
Businesses can now apply for a government support grant, which will cover 80% of their furloughed employees wages.
In this blog we will be explaining all of the details, and the information you will need when making your claim.
How Quickly Will The Grant Be Paid?
The Coronavirus Job Retention scheme went live today (20th April 2020), with the first payments being made 10 days later.
Future claims will be paid within a faster time frame; within 4-6 days.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, also announced that he would be extending the support scheme for another month, until the end of June, after the government decided to extend social distancing measures.
More Employees Are Eligible To be Furloughed
It’s important to know that the rules have recently changed, regarding who can be furloughed.
Formerly, a furloughed employee must have been on your payroll from 28th February 2020.
However, this date has been extended.
Now you can claim for employees that were employed as of 19th March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you should have made an RTI submission notifying HRMC of payment of that employee on or before 19th March 2020.
Employees that were employed as of 28th February 2020 and on your payroll, but were made redundant or stopped working in the gap between then and March 19th 2020, can also qualify for the scheme – but you must re-employ them and put them on furlough.
If you are planning to make a claim, then HMRC encourage you to familiarise yourself with this guidance, to ensure that your claim is made correctly.
HMRC have been clear that they will be investigating businesses who claim for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, so it’s important to ensure that you keep a record of your application and calculations.
What Will I Need To Make A Claim?
To make a claim, you will need:
- A government gateway ID & password.
- To be enrolled for PAYE online.
You will also need the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
- Their Name
- Their NI number
- The Claim period
- The Claim amount
- PAYE/Employee number (optional)
If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff, you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee.
If you have 100, or more, furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee in the following file types: .xls, .xlsx, .csv, .ods.
Following the initial backdated claims, future claims can be made no more than 14 days before payrolls are run, but will be accepted for the different pay periods.
Can My Agent Make The Claim On My Behalf?
Tax agents who are authorised to act for PAYE matters will be able to file claims on behalf of you, if you are a client of theirs.
Unfortunately, file-only agents and payroll bureaus will not be able to access the service ‘due to data protection reasons’.
If you want an agency to act for you, then you will need to know these two things:
- Authorised agents can act for you on PAYE matters, and make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password.
- Be sure to tell your agent which bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.
Will The Portal Crash Under The High-Demand?
The scheme has been thoroughly beta tested with a group of selected employers, and HMRC are confident that the system will be able to handle up to 2million applications on the first day.
Therefore employers have been instructed to NOT CONTACT HMRC regarding their payment, or the scheme, unless it is vitally important.
HMRC have also stated that they will not be answering any questions from employees, instead they must go directly to their employer about being furloughed.
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