COVID UPDATE

August 6th, 2020  |  Published in Uncategorized

I’ve had an email from HMRC about the job retention bonus, basically a £1,000 bribe not to bin your staff before January. Also there are changes to the CJRS as they start to wind it down, you have to contribute more to the payroll bill.

If you claimed the Self Employed Income Support, and are still affected by COVID, you can claim a second payment, using the same login that you had to make before, from 17 August. Last time you got 80% of 3 months income, this time its 70%, so you get 7/8 of what you received last time. It will be taxed as income when the year’s Self Assessment goes in. I can’t do it for you, but ring me if you are stuck.

Full text of HMRC’s email below:

We’re writing to let you know that we have published additional information on the Job Retention Bonus, including details on how to check which employers and employees are eligible and what you or your clients need to do now to get ready to claim.

You can find this by going to GOV‌.UK and searching ‘Job Retention Bonus – Policy Statement’.

Job Retention Bonus

Employers will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee they have previously received a grant for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains continuously employed through to the end of Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021.

To be eligible, the employee must have received earnings in November, December and January, and must have been paid an average of at least £520 per month, and a total of at least £1,560 across the three months.

As the employer, you or your clients will be able to claim the bonus after you have filed PAYE information for Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021, and the bonus will be paid from Fe‌br‌ua‌ry 2021. More detailed guidance, including how employers can claim the bonus online will be available by the end of September.

What you or your clients need to do now

If you or your clients intend to claim the Job Retention Bonus, you must:

  • ensure all employee records are up to date
  • accurately report employees’ details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system
  • make sure all of your CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and you have told us about any changes needed (for example if you’ve received too much or too little).

Reminder of changes to CJRS

From 1 Au‌gu‌st 2020 CJRS continue to provide grants for furloughed employees but no longer funds employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions. Employers now have to make these payments from their own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not. Our guidance has been updated to reflect these changes.

Further guidance and live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – go to GOV‌.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’. 

Please only contact us if you can’t find the information you need from GOV‌.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most. 

Making sure your data is right

It’s important that you or your clients provide the data we need to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect. We may be in touch to request employee data if it’s missing from your previous claims.

National Insurance numbers

Employers need to provide a National Insurance number (NINO) for all employees as part of their CJRS claim. The only exception is in the very limited circumstances where an employee genuinely does not have a NINO, for example if they are under 16 years old.

If you are claiming for an employee whose NINO you don’t currently know, you can check their number by searching GOV.UK for ‘Check a National Insurance Number using basic PAYE Tool’.

We can no longer accept claims for fewer than 100 employees by phone where employers do not have all employee NINO’s unless the employees they are claiming for genuinely do not have these.

Claimed too much in error?

If you or your clients have claimed too much for a CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days after receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days from when circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20 Oc‌to‌be‌r 2020 if you received CJRS money you’re not entitled to, or if your circumstances changed on or before 22 J‌ul‌y.

If you do not do this, you or your clients may have to pay a penalty. We do understand mistakes happen, particularly in these challenging times, and will not seek out innocent errors and small mistakes for compliance action. We will act, however, against anyone who deliberately sets out to defraud the system or claims money they aren’t entitled to.

How to let us know about claiming too much

If you or your clients have received more than you are entitled to, you can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us – the system will prompt you to add details on if you have received too much. For more information, search for ‘if you claim too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌.UK.

If you or your clients received too much and do not plan to submit further claims – or you have claimed less than you were entitled to – please contact us by searching ‘Contact HMRC’ on GOV‌.UK.

Protect yourself from scams  

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.  

I hope this information helps you and your business, and we’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks.  

Yours faithfully

jharra

Jim Harra

Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary – HMRC

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