Employers want to know about reclaiming furlough pay (CJRS – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). A little more information came to light following a meeting of The Treasury Select Committee where HMRC Chief Executive, Jim Harra, was asked questions.
It was confirmed that further guidance will be issued during the week commencing 13 April about how to use the scheme.
Following the initial, backdated, claims, applications can be made up to 14 days before payrolls are run. Whether that means that only backdated claims can be made initially or whether a combined claim for backdated and future can be made isn’t clear. It looks likely that only backdated claims will be allowed initially.
They are aiming to make the initial payment within 10 days of application. It doesn’t say whether this is actually 10 days or 10 working days.
Once the scheme is up and running, HMRC say that future claims will be paid within 4-6 days. Again, not sure whether or not this is working days.
Apparently, the scheme is already being tested (from 8 April) with a small number of employers.
HMRC is expecting 2 Million PAYE schemes to claim in the first 10 days. The design capacity is 450,000 users per hour. There will be a queuing system, similar to the system used by supermarkets when booking deliveries. Expect long waits.
One point of concern is that it was said that “Applicants will access the system using their current government gateway login”.
Authorised “Tax Agents” will be able to file on behalf of clients but “File Only” agents and Payroll Bureaux will not. We are not authorised “Tax Agents” in every case. We recommend that any employer which doesn’t have a government gateway ID should apply for one immediately – as a precaution. This is the site to go to – Online Services
We will submit every application we possibly can. Even if you will need to submit your own application, we will help you. We can share your computer screen, set up a video link and, generally, get you through the process.
This is a bit of a gift to Scammers who may contact you offering to help. HMRC will not contact you by email. Be very careful. Do not accept offers of help – except from us, of course.
Reports of abuse of the system are already being received by HMRC. A number of employers have already been reported as asking staff to continue working even though they are on furlough. Also, there are indications that some employers intend to claim the grant but have no intention of paying it to employees.
A “whistle-blower” service is being set up to encourage workers to report employers abusing the system.
This is a good indication that HMRC will be checking for veracity over the coming months and years. Please keep accurate records.
How can we help
We will do our utmost to help all of our clients, whether or not we process their payroll.
Even if you are not currently a client and need support, we will try to assist. Existing clients will always come first but we don’t want anyone to feel abandoned.
Contact is via the usual methods.
Telephone – 01509 816150
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Webform – below
We have regularly posted information to explain the situation as we understand it. You might be interested in reading some of our earlier posts: