The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal is due to be fully operational from April 20th and will allow businesses to start filing their claims. Here, Andrew Diver, head of tax, explains the finer details of the initiative.
Hundreds of small and large-scale businesses have furloughed their employees under the Government’s jobs retention scheme which will help them pay their staff during the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme allows businesses to claim 80% of the wages for furloughed staff – up to £2,500 per month.
The online portal on the HMRC website, through which employers can access the scheme has been live since 20 April which will allow businesses to file their returns up to 14 days before (and any time after) any RTI payroll submissions.
Initially, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that in order to be eligible, individuals had to be registered on a company payroll on February 28th, 2020. However, the Government has since extended the start date for eligibility to furlough from February 28th to March 19th which means more employees will be able to receive financial support.
To qualify, employees can be full-time, part-time, on emergency contracts, on flexible or zero-hours contracts. It is also available to employees that have been made redundant since February 28th if their employer is willing to re-hire them for the furlough period.
The employee must have been notified to HMRC through a real time information (RTI) submission, usually done by your payroll department or provider, which notifies payment about that individual on or before March 19th.
To make a claim on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers will need:
- a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'
- be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers'
- Your bank account details
- the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
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; we will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.
- National Insurance number.
- Claim period and claim amount.
- PAYE/employee number (optional).
Employers can furlough staff for a minimum of three weeks. If they return to work, they must be taken off furlough. However, they can be furloughed multiple times.
Accountancy practices which run payroll for clients can access this portal and can file claims for you.
If you require advice, please get in touch via email@example.com