The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS') is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers who had started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020, have enrolled for PAYE online and have a UK bank account.

Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees' (for more information on furloughed employees, please see our Furlough Facts and Guidance resource) gross monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

HMRC have confirmed the service will launch on 20 April. They will be contacting businesses to advise them what they need to do and we will be here to help you.

HMRC have said they are expecting phone demand to be beyond their capacity to offer a normal service and therefore the service is designed to be self-serve with guidance in place.

Businesses, and agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, will be able to claim. However, file only agents, including Payroll Bureaus, will not be able access the service due to data protection reasons.

They have also highlited the following key points about the online portal and scheme: 

  • the only way to make a claim is online ' the service should be simple to use and any support needed is available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim
  • you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent
  • claims will be paid within 6 working days and they have people to not contact HMRC unless it is absolutely necessary ' any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or their webchat service
  • they cannot answer any queries from employees ' these will need to be raised by their employer.

Businesses will need the following information before 20th April on each of their furloughed employees to make the claim:

  • 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'
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
  1. Name.
  2. National Insurance number.
  3. Claim period and claim amount.
  4. 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.

If you are a Prime payroll client, we will be able to provide you with this information if needed. 

If you want an agent to act for you, please note:

  • agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password
  • you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.

At the moment, we are still investigating whether we will be able to file claims on your behalf. We are optimistic but not yet certain and will keep you updated on this as we know more. 

If any of our clients would like more information or guidance, please contact your relationship director today, or see our updated Furlough Facts and Guidance resource.


About the Author: Kevin Johns

Prime Accountants News Centre

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