14 Apr 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Claims Portal: What you need to do now

202003 MHA Monahans Coronavirus

Late last week and over the Easter weekend the government and HMRC have issued communications about how claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will operate in practice with some key dates and processes being outlined. It is expected that more of the detail will be released in the next few days.

Key dates and timings

  • The CJRS claims portal opens on 20th April and is currently in beta testing with a small number of companies.
  • They expect 450,000 companies an hour to be able to use it, it will be open 24/7 and using it in quieter times may prove more productive.
  • It will be “self-service” – businesses need to get themselves in a position to use it and whilst there will be helplines, HMRC may struggle with call volumes – see below with regards to actions to take now and information required to make a claim.
  • The first payment run will be made before 30th April.
  • More detailed guidance will be issued by HMRC in the next 7 days about the practicalities of the claims process.
  • Payments will be made 4-6 days after the claim is submitted – the delay is used by HMRC for fraud checking.
  • Claims will be able to be made up to 14 days before a payroll run in the future.
  • A company with weekly payroll runs as well as monthly payroll runs, for example, will be able to make claims matching the frequency of their payroll runs.
  • A claim must be made per PAYE scheme (e.g. multiple claims if a company has multiple payrolls).
  • The requirement to use PAYE Online is part of the anti-fraud steps so is a “requirement”.
  • Payroll Bureaus, who are not operating clients on PAYE Online, won’t be able to process the claims for their clients, unless the client registers for PAYE Online and adds them as an Agent on that (this appears to be an anti-fraud measure) – see below for more detail of how to register for PAYE Online

Actions for employers to take now

We will issue more guidance on the details of the process once released but a key action now is to make sure that you as the employer are registered for HMRC PAYE Online. You should either:

  1. check that you have already registered and try to log in to confirm that this works or
  2. register for the PAYE Online.

If you don’t currently have a government gateway or if you haven’t linked PAYE to the log on, then please follow the instructions below:

  1. You will require your PAYE reference & Accounts Office reference number. You should have a record of this if you prepare your own payroll. If we complete your payroll it will be on the top right of the P32 report. (the one showing the amount due to HMRC).
  2. If you have an online HMRC Government Gateway account for other taxes you can log into your portal and select ‘PAYE for Employers’ under ‘Services you can add’.
  3. If you don’t have an account enrol as a new user by following the steps and selecting PAYE for Employers under Organisation.

Please do not assume that if we run your payroll that we will be able to access your PAYE Online account as this may well not be the case. You should still check to confirm your registration. Please make sure that you have made a note of your log in details as these will be critical in your ability to access the claims portal.

Our Team at MHA Monahans can help you make the claim through the HMRC Portal when this is up and running and if you would like our assistance please contact speak to your normal contact in the first instance who will organise the assistance.

How to make a claim:

We want to help you get ready to make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

If you’re eligible for the scheme, there are things that you can do now to be ready when the system is up and running later this month.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

  1. The bank account number and sort code you’d like HMRC to use when they pay your claim.
  2. The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions.
  3. Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  4. The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  5. The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

Information correct at time of publishing.