Since announcing the scheme HMRC published initial guidance on 26 March which has been subsequently updated eight times. The latest version was published on 1 May 2020. Updates have also been made to the guidance on calculating 80% of wages.
There is also an updated step by step guide to making the claim and submitting the necessary information.
The guidance is important as it sets out how HMRC expect employers to use the Scheme and when submitting a claim for payment it is necessary to declare that it is being made in accordance with the guidance. HMRC reserve the right to check claims at a later date.
Guidance is though just guidance and when considering how any legal rights and obligations should be exercised it is the legislation underpinning the Scheme that will take precedence. In this case the legislation takes the highly unusual form of a Direction made under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020. It has not had the benefit of being scrutinised, debated and where necessary amended following a full parliamentary process and this appears to have led to some of the provisions being unhelpfully ambiguous. That ambiguity could possibly elevate the importance of the HMRC guidance in practice.
We have reviewed our previously published FAQ’s to take into account the most recent changes and how these may impact in practice on claims under the scheme.
For guidance on collective consultation and HR1 issues please click here.
What will need to be submitted to HMRC?
The Guidance states that a claim will need to be made through the online portal and it will be important for employers to register online first in order to do this. You will need to provide the following information:
- Your employer PAYE reference number
- The number of employees being furloughed
- National Insurance Numbers for the furloughed employees
- Names of the furloughed employees
- Payroll/employee number for the furloughed employees (optional)
- Your Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number
- The claim period (start and end date)
- Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
- Your bank account number and sort code
- Your contact name and phone number
- You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.
- If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff you will be asked to enter details of each employee you are claiming for directly into the system - this will include their name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, and payroll/employee number.
For more information regarding the updated guidance to the Job Retention Scheme contact our expert listed below and for more information regarding COVID-19 visit our Coronavirus hub.
This article was originally published on 8 April 2020, it was last updated on 14 May 2020.