Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal live, scheme extended & how to claim.
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Today the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal has gone live. Employers can log in via the Government Gateway to claim grants of 80% of their usual wage costs for furloughed employees (up to £2,500 monthly). The grants also cover employer NI contributions and pension contributions (up to the minimum auto enrolment contribution).
The scheme has also been extended by a month and will now run until the end of June. It may be extended further, depending on how successfully the COVID-19 pandemic is managed over the coming weeks.
Are you eligible to claim?
Before you make a claim, you first need to make sure that you are eligible. In a nutshell, you need to:
- have started a PAYE payroll scheme before 19 March 2020 (this date has been changed from 28 February)
- Be enrolled for PAYE online (this is important – find out how to do it here)
- Have a UK bank account
How to calculate what you can claim via CJRS
Some of our clients have asked for advice on working out what they can claim from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
The simplest way of doing this is to use the HMRC online calculator, which is available on this page. However, this can currently be used only for employees who are paid the same amount, either weekly or monthly.
Even then, there are exceptions. For example, if employees received top-up pay in the claim period, get director’s payments or receive employer pension contribution outside of an auto-enrolment scheme, you can’t use the calculator.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend you ask us for professional advice about what you can claim. This is because the calculations will need to be done manually.
If you prefer to make the calculations yourself, be warned – they can be fiendishly complex. We were recently sent guidance that runs to nearly 4,000 words!
Calculating a CJRS claim accurately can involve working out holiday pay; claiming for multiple pay periods using a mixture of daily, weekly and monthly wage amounts; claiming for employees whose pay varies; and accurately working out NI and pension contributions.
This can just be the tip of the iceberg! There are also other considerations you may have to take into account. For example, do you need to furlough someone more than once? What if a furloughed employee holds two jobs? What if an employee is also self-employed? Or if they take on new employment during furlough?
Should I use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal now?
If your PAYE scheme is simple and straightforward and you can use the online calculator, then it would make sense to make your claim via the CJRS portal now.
However, if you have to make more complex calculations to submit your claim, we strongly suggest you talk to us now. We will help make sure you submit an accurate claim for the full amount you are entitled to. It’s simpler to avoid mistakes now, rather than try to untangle them with HMRC – or run the risk of underpayment (which will leave you out of pocket now) or overpayment (which will hit you financially later on).
Of course, if you have any questions, please do get in touch. We’re on hand and very happy to help.
About Mark Boulter
Mark Boulter is responsible for the efficient running of the firm’s infrastructure, and ensuring that THP delivers the best client service. Promoting the vision and culture across all branches, people are the key: “I like people who have a fresh approach and I’m happy for them to run with their ideas,” he says.
Communication across departments is crucial and Mark pioneers this. He ensure that people and departments not only talk to each other, but that they share ideas– whether they’re about marketing, finance, sales, strategy or any other topic that can result in us offering a better service. “I think helping to develop the next generation of THP people is essential to our success,” Mark adds. “We’ve a lot of talented people and our way of doing things increasingly attracts ambitious newcomers who are looking for a fresh approach. That’s good for us and even better news for our clients.”