A&M Tax Advisor Update

Update on the Job Retention Scheme

Louise Jenkins, Senior Director

louise.jenkins@alvarezandmarsal.com

April 9, 2020 / UK

We are pleased to let you know that HMRC is targeting 20th April for the Job Retention Scheme claims functionality to be up and running.

How will claims be made?
It is confirmed that, in line with many tax positions, it is a self-assessment and claims basis, via an online portal only. No telephone claims are to be allowed.

Some advisers are lobbying HMRC to use an alternative method than the company’s online portal, as not all employers have a portal in place and it can be a lengthy process to get one, involving passwords being sent by post.

What should I be doing now?
Employers should check if they have a company online portal in place.  If they do have one, they should check who has the login and password details to access it, and if this also gives access to the PAYE option.  It is through this login that most employers do their share scheme reporting and forms 42.

For those that do have an online site, they may not have registered and activated the PAYE/NIC part of the portal (It is more commonly used for Corporate Tax and VAT filing purposes).

How can I check?
To check you can access the log in page at:
https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services

You will need your identification number, which is usually the company’s UTR number, along with the set password.  This can be tricky, as it can mean that in practical terms the person who most regularly accesses the online portal has set the password.  You will need to locate who that person within your organisation is and ask them to log on, or permit you to have access to the password.

Once logged in, you should get to a landing site like this:

And within that page, there are options for Corporation Tax, PAYE and VAT:

We understand that the link to the online claim form will be hosted on the PAYE page, along with the drop down menus for forms P11D etc.

Is the form available yet?
HMRC have built their online form and have started to test this with some employers.  HMRC anticipate that it should be able to handle 450,000 per day, and that the peak period will be in the initial few days.  If you can therefore wait to make your submission, this is advisable.

What can I claim for?
HMRC have previously advised that claims can be made for 3 week periods at a time, back to 1 March 2020, so there will be a potential period of catch up for those initial weeks.  However, other employers only formally furloughed staff from 1 April onwards, and the first claim will be able to be made after the April payroll has been processed and the Full Payment Submission (“FPS”) submitted to HMRC. We therefore anticipate another surge of claims to be made towards the end of the month.

Remember it is a reimbursement scheme, so you do need to have processed payroll before a claim can be made.  Claims will be 80% of pay capped at a maximum of £2,500, plus the employer NIC on the JRS payment made, and the 3% employer minimum pension contribution due (if employees had not opted out of auto enrolment)…

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