I’m writing to remind you of upcoming claims deadlines for the following schemes:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
I’d also like to update you on the information we’ll be publishing on CJRS claims from this month.
You and your clients can now submit your CJRS furlough claims for periods in January. These must be made by 15 February.
Claims can be made before, during or after your clients’ payroll is processed. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once they’re sure of the exact number of hours employees will work so you don’t have to amend the claim at a later date.
For self-employed clients, the third SEISS grant closes for claims on Friday 29 January. Your eligible clients must claim on or before this date.
Thank you if you submitted your clients’ December furlough claims by the deadline of 14 January.
If you or your clients didn’t, we may still accept it if there is a reasonable excuse for not claiming by the deadline, such as self-isolating, or an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented completing a claim.
If the reason means you can claim late, please do so as soon as you’re able to, and note that reasonable excuses only apply to late claims for periods from November onwards.
For more information on reasonable excuses, go to GOV.UK and search ‘claim for wages’.
If you or your clients have already submitted claims for December but need to make a change because you didn’t claim enough, you can do this until Thursday 28 January.
To find out how to amend a claim, search ‘Get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
What you or your clients need to do now
- If you haven’t submitted a claim for December but believe that you or your clients have a reasonable excuse, check if you can apply to make a late claim by searching ‘claim for wages’ on GOV.UK.
- Check they claimed the right amount in December by looking at the eligibility criteria and calculating how much they can claim – search ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
- Submit any claims for January no later than Monday 15 February.
- Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grant claimed, in case HMRC needs to check them.
Making a claim online
To make a CJRS claim, you will need to be registered and have the required access, password or activation code for HMRC online services. For more information search ‘HMRC services’ on GOV.UK.
Furlough for caring responsibilities
Employees can ask to be furloughed because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare closing. You or your clients can place them on furlough and claim for them under the CJRS.
Publishing information on CJRS claims
On 26 January, we will be publishing a list of employer names who have claimed CJRS for periods starting on or after December onwards on GOV.UK.
From February, we will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods starting on or after 1 December. The published value of claims will be shown within a banded range – to find a list of these, search ‘Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’ on GOV.UK.
We will not publish details of employers claiming through the scheme if they can show that publicising these would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to individuals, or those living with them. Your clients can request for their details not to be published by completing the online application form – they can go to GOV.UK and search ‘Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’.
If employers need to do this, we will not publish their details until a decision has been made and they have been informed. Employers only need to apply once, as the decision will cover all CJRS claim periods starting from 1 December 2020.
Applications must be made by an employer and it can’t be made by an agent on their behalf.
Employees will also be able to check if a CJRS claim has been made on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from February. They can set up a Personal Tax Account by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’.
Details of CJRS claims will now be published monthly as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims.
Handling client information
If you are submitting claims on behalf of multiple clients, it’s really important to take care to use the right employer PAYE reference number, which HMRC uses to record claims. To keep your clients’ data safe, please take extra care to check that the details you enter relate to the client and specific payroll scheme you’re claiming for.
Third grant of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Thank you for continuing to support your clients to understand whether they are eligible for SEISS, and to claim their grants when they are eligible.
Similar to the first and second SEISS grants, the third SEISS grant will also be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance. Alongside the first and second grants, the third SEISS grant should be reported on your clients’ 2020/21 Self Assessment tax returns (filing deadline 31 January 2022).
Where your clients also claim Universal Credit (UC), the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grant should be reported to DWP in the month the grant is paid and may affect the amount of UC received.
VAT Payments Deferral Scheme – correcting errors
If you or your clients notice an error on a VAT return which relates to a period covered by the VAT Payments Deferral Scheme, you should send a VAT652 form to us as soon as possible. Go to GOV.UK and search ‘Correct errors on your VAT Returns’ for more information.
You or your clients will then receive a Statement of Account confirming the balance, and if any extra payments are needed as a result, you can contact us to defer these too, before the end of January.
You or your clients can:
- pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021
- opt in to the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme when it launches in early 2021 (more information to follow shortly)
- contact HMRC if your clients need more help to pay.
Where can I get further support?
Thousands of people have joined and benefitted from our live webinars which now offer more support on changes to CJRS and SEISS, and how they affect you or your clients. To book online, or to view updated guidance, go to GOV.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’.
There’s a list of CJRS monthly claims deadlines and a helpful step-by-step guide on GOV.UK, summarising the latest information on CJRS and the steps that need to be taken to make a claim – you can find these by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme step-by-step guide’.
Our phone lines and webchat remain very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.
Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599.
Access the National Cyber Security Centre’s new guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself and your business against cyber crime by searching ‘Cyber Aware’ on GOV.UK.
I hope this information helps you and your business, and we’ll continue to keep you updated.
Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary – HMRC