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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme introduced by MP Rishi Sunak went live yesterday, and employers are now able to apply for cash grants towards the wages of their employees. As thousands of businesses have had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, this scheme is expected to help those worst affected across the UK.

The scheme allows employers to claim a monthly maximum of £2,500 towards staff wages, and cash grants worth up to 80% of wages. Claims for cash grants can be submitted through HMRC’s new online portal.

In this article, we will help your business to benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by discussing the steps you need to take in order to make a claim.

Points to keep in mind:

  • The coronavirus job retention scheme is a temporary initiative which was put in place for 4 months starting 1 March 2020
  • All employers can claim under the scheme
  • Those who wish to claim must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your payroll on or before 19 March 2020
  • You will need to work out 80% of your workers’ wages and national insurance contributions before applying
  • HMRC’s current salary calculation system has only just been launched and is still in its final review stage, so it is possible some applications may be delayed as a result

What documents will you need to submit a claim?

  • A PAYE registration
  • Bank number and sort code
  • PAYE scheme reference number
  • The number of employees being furloughed and each employee’s National Insurance number
  • When the claim starts and ends
  • The amount you’re claiming for, plus the amount of National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • Your contact details, such as name and telephone number
  • One of the following: your name (or employer’s name), your Corporation taxpayer reference, your Self-Assessment unique taxpayer reference, your company registration number

What if you are claiming for over 100 furloughed employees?

The government is aware that some businesses will have to put a large number of their employees on the Job Retention Scheme. Businesses that will be claiming for over 100 employees need to attach a file with their application. The format of this file must be either .xls, .xlsx, .csv or .ods and needs to contain:

  • The employee’s full name
  • Their National Insurance number
  • payroll number (optional)
  • furlough start date and end date (if known)
  • full amount claimed

Submitting your claim

When you’re ready to claim, you can do so by using your Government Gateway ID and password to access the HMRC portal. As many business owners are currently using the service to apply, the service may load slowly. You can check beforehand to see if there are any problems by following this link.

What happens after I have claimed?

After you have submitted your claim, you will receive a claim reference number. You will then receive your claim amount via BACS into your bank account within 6 working days.

After claiming, there are number of important steps that we recommend you follow:

Retain – Keep records of any confirmation e-mails or texts, application reference numbers, claim reference numbers or calculations

Inform – keep in touch with your employees and tell them you have made a claim on their behalf

Pay any wages – if you have not already done so, pay your employees’ wages

We hope that this guide has made it easy for you to submit your claim for the coronavirus job retention scheme. If you have any other questions in relation to the scheme or paying your employees’ wages, please do not hesitate to call us on 0161 637 1080 or send an e-mail to enquiries@jpaccountant.com.

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