How to make a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant claim

HMRC are creating a new portal to facilitate “self-employment income support scheme” grant claims.

The exact details of how the claim procedure will work is emerging, this is a new system being developed in weeks that would normally take HMRC many months. These notes will be updated as more guidance becomes available.

What we know so far (last updated 22 April 2020):

Disclosing furloughed pay on a payslip

For ease of future identification, we strongly recommend that furloughed pay is disclosed separately on an employee’s payslip.

Please note that PAYE tax, National Insurance, and automatic enrolment will apply to Furlough pay as normal.

What about where an employer pays more than the government supported 80%?

The Furlough pay should be shown as a separate pay item called 'Furlough Pay', with the balance of pay shown as normal on the payslip.

Records that you should keep to assist with your claim

To claim, you will need the following information:

  • your employer PAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • Furloughed employee information:
    • National Insurance Number
    • Name
    • Payroll/works number (optional)
  • your reference number:
    • Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference if you are unincorporated; or
    • Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number if you are incorporated
  • the claim period (start and end date)
  • amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
  • your bank account number and sort code
  • claimants’ details:
    • Name
    • Contact phone number

You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.

If you have fewer than 100 furloughed employees you will be asked to enter details of each employee, if you have 100 or more furloughed employees you will be asked to upload a file with the information.

Claim details

You should make your claim using the amounts in your payroll. Claims can be backdated until the 1 March 2020 where employees have already been furloughed.

If appropriate, worker’s wages should be reduced to 80% of their salary within your payroll before they are paid. This adjustment will not be made by HMRC.

Minimum furlough periods

Any employees you place on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough. Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks.

Completing your claim

You need to have three things in place to make a claim:

  1. Have a PAYE scheme created and started on or before 28 February 2020; and
  2. Enrolled for “PAYE online”; and
  3. A UK bank account

We have created a separate step-by-step guide on how to enrol for a PAYE online account.

We have also created a separate step-by-step guide on how to complete the furlough grant claim on HMRC's portal.

We expect that the claim process will be significantly overloaded when it first goes live – you should anticipate delays.

Can you contact HMRC for assistance?

The service is designed to be self-serve with guidance in place but in theory you can contact HMRC for assistance. HMRC are expecting phone demand to be beyond their capacity to offer a normal service.

Can HSA & Co complete the claim on your behalf?

Yes. HMRC has said that “If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf.”

This is reliant on certain authorisations being in place. HMRC have not clarified exactly what those authorisations are but they will be existing procedures. We would anticipate that for many clients these authorisations are already in place. However, we know from experience, that from time-to-time HMRC have lost these authorisations for even long-established clients.

We do not want to find out at the point of trying to make a claim on your behalf that the authorisation is not in place, this will cause delays to your claim. It is not practical for us to check each authorisation in advance so we would strongly recommend that you follow the steps above to enrol for “PAYE online” and you do this as early as possible.

Please talk to us if you would like assistance with your claim.

After you have claimed

HMRC will check your claim, and if you’re eligible, pay it to you by BACS to a UK bank account.

You must pay the employee all the grant you receive for their gross pay in the form of money. Furloughed staff must receive no less than 80% of their reference pay (up to the monthly cap of £2,500).

Employers cannot enter into any transaction with the worker which reduces the wages below this amount. This includes any administration charge, fees or other costs in connection with the employment.

Would you like to know more?

Please feel free to get in touch via phone, email or our quick contact form.

We offer initial free consultations simply contact us to find out more.

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