Action required – upcoming deadline for furloughing employees and the latest on SEISS

Dear Payadvice.UK ,Plan for Jobs

I’m writing to you with the latest information about the financial support schemes available to help your clients, as part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs.

This includes the latest on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and upcoming changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

To find out what other financial support may be available for your clients during this time, search ‘find coronavirus financial support’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.


1. Submit CJRS claims for July

CJRS claims for July can now be submitted and must be made by Monday‌‌ ‌16‌‌th August 2021.

Employers can claim 70% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month. They’ll need to pay the difference, so that they continue to pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages in total for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 a month.

Employers can still choose to top up employees’ wages above the 80% level or cap for each month if they wish, at their own expense.

To help you and your clients plan ahead, there’s a list of monthly claims deadlines on GOV‌‌.UK:

What you or your clients need to do now

  • work out how much they can claim and the difference they’ll need to pay using our CJRS calculator and examples, by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌.UK
  • submit any claims for July, no later than Monday‌‌ ‌16‌‌th August 2021
  • keep records supporting grants you claim, in case we need to check
  • make sure they’re paying CJRS related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC and contact us if they’re struggling to pay.

2. Changes to the CJRS from August

From 1‌‌ st August to 30‌‌ th September (when the scheme closes), the UK Government will pay 60% of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will need to continue to pay the difference, so that they pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages in total for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 a month.


3. SEISS

The claims service for the fifth SEISS grant will open from late July. In the meantime, here are the latest SEISS updates for you and your clients.

Personal claim dates

Within the next few days, we’ll be contacting every customer who may be eligible for the fifth grant, to tell them their personal claim date. Customers can claim from this date up until the claims service closes on 30‌‌ ‌September‌‌ ‌2021.

Wherever possible, please remind your clients that claims made before their personal claim date will not be processed. This is to ensure the system is fast and easy to use for everyone on their given date, and that telephone support continues to be available for those who need it most.

Preparing turnover figures

The majority of customers claiming the fifth SEISS grant will need to provide turnover figures in order to make a claim. The turnover figures will be used to compare the ‘pandemic year’ with a ‘reference period’. Detailed instructions on how to prepare turnover for the 12-month period starting on any date from 1 to 6 April 2020 (the ‘pandemic year’), and where to find turnover for 2019-20 or 2018-19 (the ‘reference period’), can be found on GOV‌‌.UK by searching ‘SEISS’.

We understand the introduction of this requirement for turnover figures will lead to clients asking for your support. Although you can’t make the claim for them, you can of course help them find the information they need. A SEISS ‘how to’ video will be available on HMRC’s YouTube channel by late July – just search ‘HMRC’ on YouTube.

Claiming the fifth SEISS grant

It’s important that customers claim the grant themselves – not doing this could result in delays or the grant not being paid. Although customers are welcome to ask you for support, they cannot share login information or ask you to submit a claim on their behalf. In late Ju‌‌ly, you can search ‘HMRC’ on YouTube for more information that’s specific to you as an agent. This shows each screen of the claims service, which should help you to support your clients as they make their claims.

Why and when we’re contacting customers for SEISS grants

We are contacting customers for the following reasons:

  • Customers who became newly self-employed in 2019-20 may receive a letter asking for proof of identity and trade information via Dropbox. As part of these pre-claim verification checks, we will call the customer too. They will not be able to make a claim if they do not provide the requested information.
  • We have already emailed customers who have claimed SEISS before, with instructions on how to prepare for their claim. Practical advice was also included.
  • All customers who may be eligible for the fifth SEISS grant will soon receive an email, letter or SMS with their personal claim date and instructions on how to access the claims service via GOV‌‌.UK from late Ju‌‌ly. These do not include hyperlinks.
  • A small number of customers will receive a letter asking them to call us if they want to make their claim. The online service will not be open for these customers, so they must call us using the number in the letter. This is different to the pre-claim verification checks.

We are aware of a number of SEISS-related scams and we hope this information helps identify genuine and expected contact from HMRC. If you or your clients doubt whether contact is from HMRC, please search ‘check a list of genuine HMRC contacts’ on GOV‌‌.UK.


4. A word about scams

We are urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. We continue to see high numbers of fraudsters calling, emailing or texting customers claiming to be from HMRC.

If in doubt, we advise you not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact HMRC straight away and to search GOV‌‌.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.

The National Cyber Security Centre has a helpful guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cybercrime, which you can find by searching ‘Cyber Aware’.

Yours faithfullyjharra

Jim Harra

Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary – HMRC

PAYadvice.UK 20/7/2021

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