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HMRC: COVID-19 support and actions you may need to take

Updates and Advice from HMRC:

VAT deferral – apply now to spread your payments

The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open for all businesses who deferred paying VAT due between 20 March‌‌ ‌and 30‌‌ ‌June 2020 and have been unable to pay in full by 31 March‌‌ ‌2021.

Apply now to spread these payments over a number of months – join by 21‌‌ April‌‌ 2021 to benefit from up to 10 monthly instalments. The sooner you join, the more instalments are available to you.

You can join the scheme quickly and simply online without needing to call HMRC. To find out more information, including the things you need to prepare before joining online, go to GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK and search ‘VAT deferral’.

You need to apply by 21‌‌‌‌ ‌June‌‌‌‌ ‌2021 at the latest if you want to join the scheme online. 

CJRS claims for April

You can now submit your CJRS claims for periods in April‌‌. These must be made by Friday‌‌ ‌14 May.

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees will work so you don’t have to amend your claim later.

Check if you and your employees are eligible and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK.

What you need to do now

  1. If you haven’t submitted your claim for March but believe that you have a reasonable excuse for missing the 14 April deadline, check if you can make a late claim by searching ‘claim for wages’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK.
  2. Submit any claims for April no later than Friday‌‌‌‌ ‌14‌‌‌‌ ‌May.
  3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them. ‌

You must pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC. If you don’t do that, you’ll need to repay the whole of the CJRS grant to HMRC.

The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of your furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, to the end of June.

In July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages, up to a cap of £1,875.

You will need to pay the difference from July, so that you continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. 

CJRS eligibility from May

If you have employees who have previously been ineligible for the CJRS, as they were not on your payroll on 30 October 2020, they may be eligible for periods from 1‌‌ ‌May‌‌ ‌2021 onwards.

From May you will be able to claim for eligible employees who were on your PAYE payroll on 2 March 2021. This means you must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission between 20‌‌ ‌March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying HMRC of earnings for that employee.

You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. For more information on eligibility, search ‘check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’ on GOV‌‌.UK. 

Changes to CJRS claims for variable pay from May

For periods from 1‌‌ ‌May, when calculating the average wages for employees who are not on a fixed salary, you should no longer includes period of:

  • Statutory Sick Pay related leave 
  • family related statutory leave 
  • reduced rate paid leave following a period of Statutory Sick Pay or family related leave.

However, if your employee was on one of these types of leave for the entire period used to calculate their average wages, then you should continue to include the days and wages related to that date.

For more information on variable pay calculations, go to GOV‌‌.UK and search ‘calculate how much you can claim’.  

Frequently asked questions about the CJRS

You can find everything you need to know about the CJRS on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’, but here are some answers to the questions that employers have been asking us recently:

Can I still use the CJRS if I’m starting to re-open my business?

You can continue to use the CJRS if your business is affected by coronavirus. You don’t need to place all your employees on furlough. You can also use the CJRS flexibly to bring your employees back to work for some of their usual hours. You can claim for a portion of the usual wage costs for the hours spent on furlough.

Can I claim a CJRS grant to pay for holiday leave?

If you have furloughed employees because of the effects of coronavirus on your business, you can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave they take while on furlough, including for bank holidays. You should not place employees on furlough just because they are going to be on leave. 

If your employee is furloughed for only some of their hours, you can count time taken as holiday as furloughed hours, rather than working hours. This means you can currently claim for 80% of your employee’s usual wages when they’re on leave.

In line with the Working Time Regulations, if a furloughed employee takes holiday you should make sure you are calculating the correct holiday pay, and not simply continuing to pay the 80% you receive through the CJRS. You may need to top up your employees’ pay to 100% of their normal hourly rate or salary. For more information search ‘check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’ and ‘holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK. 

Where can I get further support?

Thousands of people have benefitted from our webinars which offer information on the CJRS and other government support, and how they apply to you. To book online, or to view updated guidance, go to GOV‌‌‌‌.UK‌‌‌‌‌ and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’. If you’re booked on a webinar but can no longer attend, please cancel your place to allow space for others to register.

There’s a list of monthly claims deadlines and a helpful step-by-step guide on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK, summarising the latest information on the CJRS and the steps you need to take to make a claim – you can find these by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme step by step guide’.

To find out what other financial support may be available for you and your business as part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs, search ‘find coronavirus financial support’ on GOV‌‌.UK.

Please note, information shared on the Ways2Work network comes from many different organisations. Please use the links and contact information above to find out more details about this opportunity.

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