I’m writing to remind you of an upcoming deadline for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims, and to answer some questions you or your clients may have.
Also included is information on checking claims you made for variable paid employees – those not on fixed salaries – and more on HMRC publishing details of employers’ CJRS claims from this month.
January claims – submit now
Thank you if you have submitted your clients’ January furlough claims already. If you haven’t submitted your claims for January, you must do so by the deadline of Monday 15 February.
As a reminder, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
Employers and their employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim, if employers and employees meet the eligibility criteria.
What you or your clients need to do now
- Check if they’re eligible and work out how much they can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples.
- 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.
Checking your claims for variable pay if you’ve used the HMRC calculator
I’m afraid our CJRS calculator on GOV.UK contained a software error, which we have now corrected. If you used it before 21 January to work out January claims for employees that are not on a fixed salary you’ll need to re-calculate your claims if:
- you used an employee’s pay for January 2019 as reference pay, instead of 2020, and
- their pay was different in January 2019 to January 2020.
If you used your employee’s January 2020 pay you do not need to take any action.
Please accept my apologies if you need to re-calculate your claim.
If after you have made your re-calculation you find out your claim was incorrect and:
- you have claimed too much, you should amend this in your next claim or let us know as soon as possible and make a repayment online, through our card payment service or by bank transfer.
- you claimed too little, please call the helpline to amend this by 1 March.
Go to get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for more information on how to amend a claim.
Publishing information about employers’ claims
In January we published the list of employers who have claimed under the CJRS for periods from December onwards, on GOV.UK. Starting from 25 February, on a monthly basis we will publish the names and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods starting on or after 1 December, together with an indication of the value of their claims.
We will not publish the exact amount of claims, but rather the band within which claims fall; for example £0 – £10,000, £10,000 – £25,000, or £25,000 – £50,000. You can find a full list of these bands on GOV.UK. The details we publish will not include information about your client’s employees.
Details of CJRS claims will now be published monthly as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims.
If your clients think publishing these details would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to them or others, they can request that details of their claims are not published. More details are given in our frequently asked questions below.
Employees will also be able to check if a CJRS claim has been made on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from 25 February. If they do not already have a Personal Tax Account, they can set one up by going to GOV.UK and searching ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’.
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.
If you do find you’ve made an error, you can delete a claim online within 72 hours of submitting it.
Frequently asked questions about the CJRS
You can find everything you need to know about the CJRS on GOV.UK, but here are some answers to the questions you’ve been asking us recently.
What should I do if I suspect fraud?
HMRC will check claims, and payments may be withheld or need to be paid back if a claim is found to be fraudulent or based on incorrect information.
You need to report fraud to HMRC if you have evidence to suggest an employer is abusing the scheme.
How do employers ask HMRC not to publish their claim details?
If publishing an employer’s claim details could leave someone at risk of violence or intimidation, they can request for these not to be published by completing the online application form.
We will not publish an employer’s details until we have informed them of our decision on their application. 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 they can’t be made by an agent on their behalf.
Can I claim for employees who are training?
You or your clients can claim for employees who undertake training while they are furloughed, as long as they don’t provide services to, or generate revenue for, your client’s business or a linked or associated organisation. More information is available on GOV.UK.
Can I furlough an employee if they are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities or are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable?
If an employee asks to be furloughed, you can claim for them under the CJRS if;
- they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare closing, or
- they are clinically extremely vulnerable, or in the highest risk group for severe illness from coronavirus according to the public health guidance for your area.
Go to check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for other circumstances where you can furlough an employee.
The decision to offer furlough rests with the employer.
How do I access HMRC online services?
To make a CJRS claim, you will need to be registered for an online account with HMRC and have your password and ID to hand. If you need to set up a new account or have lost your login details, search ‘HMRC services’ on GOV.UK. You’ll be sent an activation code after registering which can take up to 10 days to arrive, so please take this time into account if you plan to make a claim.
Where can I get further support?
Thousands of people have benefited from our live webinars which offer support on the CJRS, and how it applies to you or your clients. Go to help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus to book online, or to view updated guidance. If you’re booked on a webinar but can no longer attend, please cancel your place where possible to allow space for others to register.
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 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