The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended once more – the scheme will now see the government pay 80% of the wages of furloughed workers until the end of April 2021. Here, Andrew Diver, head of tax at Beatons, outlines the added certainty provided by the extension.
Amid the extension of tiered regional restrictions and whispers of stricter post-Christmas lockdowns, this week the government made the reassuring announcement that the furlough and loan schemes were to be extended.
The furlough scheme will continue to allow business to claim 80% of the wages of furloughed staff, up to £2,500 per month, until the end of April next year. The eligibility criteria for the scheme remains unchanged.
Struggling businesses will also now have until the end of March 2021 to access the government’s generous loan schemes.
Access to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme was due to close at the end of January 2021.
The government also recently announced that a successor loan scheme will be available beyond March – more details of this will be announced ‘in due course’ alongside a wider update on economic support at the Budget on March 3rd next year.
After Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the suggestion that coronavirus could remain rife in the UK ‘until the spring’, the extension of these support schemes offers certainty to businesses about the funding available to them until vaccination programmes begin to take effect.
“We know the premium businesses place on certainty,” the Chancellor said. “So it is right that we enable businesses to plan ahead.”
Businesses that have been adversely affected by recent changes to the regional tiered lockdown restrictions will now be able to rely on financial support to recover and grow into the new year.
Accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
To make a claim, employers will need:
- a Government Gateway ID and password – if you don’t already have a gateway account, you can apply online
- 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:
- National Insurance number.
- Claim period and claim amount.
- PAYE/employee number (optional).
- 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.
Accountancy practices which run payroll for clients can access the HMRC online portal, which has been open since April 20th, and file the claims for you.
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