Actions for you and your clients – submit your final Job Retention Scheme claims and the latest on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
Here’s the latest information from HMRC about the closure of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
Now that the schemes have closed, you may want information on other support that could be available for your clients, including the Kickstart and Help to Grow schemes. Search ‘Plan for Jobs’ on GOV.UK for more details.
1. Submit CJRS claims for September
The CJRS closed on 30 September. Thank you if you’ve submitted your September furlough claims already. If you haven’t submitted them yet, you must do so by the final deadline of Thursday 14 October.
Employers can claim 60% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875 per month per employee. They’ll need to contribute 20% from their own funds so that furloughed employees continue to be paid at least 80% of their usual wages in total, for the hours they do not work (up to a cap of £2,500 a month).
What you or your clients need to do now:
- work out how much they can claim, and the contribution they’ll need to make to reach 80% of usual wages, by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK
- submit any claims for September, no later than Thursday 14 October
- keep records supporting the grants they claim, in case we need to check them
- make sure they pay CJRS-related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, and contact us if they’re struggling to pay
- include grants in their Self-Assessment return, if they usually file one
- search ‘Plan for Jobs’ if you want to see other support that may be available to your clients.
2. The end of the CJRS – other UK Government support available
You can find everything you and your clients need to know about the CJRS on GOV.UK by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’. Below are some answers to our most frequently asked questions:
What support is available for my client’s employees if they’re unable to bring them back to work?
There’s UK Government support available for employees through the JobHelp website, offering a range of support, training and advice, to help people find their next opportunity. This includes the Kickstart scheme and other Plan for Jobs support measures, along with advice on learning new skills and finding out who’s recruiting. Search ‘Plan for Jobs programmes’ on GOV.UK, for more information.
Normal redundancy rules and protections apply to furloughed employees – search ‘redundancy rules’ on GOV.UK for more information.
What support is available to help my client’s business grow?
If your client is looking to grow their business, the UK Government Help to Grow scheme offers management and digital programmes, to help them learn new skills and reach more customers. Search ‘Help to Grow’ on GOV.UK to register their interest.
If employers are considering taking on new employees, there’s a range of UK Government support available to help them, including placements, apprenticeships and training opportunities. Search ‘Plan for Jobs programmes for employers’ on GOV.UK to find out how your client’s business could benefit.
Claims for the fifth and final SEISS grant have now closed. Thank you for continuing to support your clients throughout this scheme, and below is some information on why we’ll be in touch with customers in the next month.
Upcoming contact with customers
In the coming weeks we will write to everyone who claimed at least one SEISS grant with key information for them to be aware of on how to report SEISS grants correctly on their tax return, and what to do if anything has changed since claiming. This will cover (depending on your client’s circumstances):
Reminder that SEISS grants are taxable:
- customers will be reminded that their SEISS grants are subject to income tax and National Insurance
- they should include grants received on or before 5 April 2021 in their 2020-21 tax return (filing deadline 31 January 2022). Grants received on or after 6 April 2021 should be included in their 2021-22 tax return (filing deadline 31 January 2023).
How to report SEISS grants on the tax return:
- customers will be advised that 2020-21 returns and supplementary pages have a new box on which to report SEISS grants received on or before 5 April 2021
- instructions on how to report SEISS (and other coronavirus support payments) can be found at gov.uk/report-covid-payments.
How we correct 2020-21 returns, if we believe SEISS grants have not been returned in the way we expected:
- customers will be asked to check the statement of account if we have made an amendment to the SEISS grant entry
- help on what to check and next steps will be included. For more information, go to gov.uk/check-your-return-for-seiss.
Changes to returns after 3 March 2021:
- customers will be reminded that they should tell us about amendments made to their 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18 or 2016-17 tax returns after 3 March 2021
- instructed to follow the guidance at gov.uk/hmrc/repay-seiss and complete a form if amendments either:
- reduce the amount of fourth or fifth grant they are eligible for
- cause them to no longer be eligible for the fourth or fifth grant.
Fifth grant turnover test and the 2020-21 tax return:
- if a customer completed the turnover test and provided a figure for the 12-month period from April 2020 to April 2021 which started on any date from 1 to 6 April 2020, they need to check this against the turnover figure they include in their 2020-21 tax return.
If they gave us an incorrect turnover figure when they claimed the fifth SEISS grant or realise now that it was wrong, they need to tell us by completing a form online. More information is available at gov.uk/hmrc/repay-seiss.
Whilst the SEISS has now ended, several elements of the UK Government’s wider support package continue to be available. The UK Government’s Plan for Jobs offers a range of support for those who want to get into work, including the Kickstart and Restart schemes, apprenticeships and traineeships. Self-employed people on low incomes may also qualify for Universal Credit, and work coaches have the power to continue suspending the Minimum Income Floor on an individual basis for up to six months, for claimants whose earnings continue to be affected by coronavirus.
Search ‘coronavirus financial support’ on GOV.UK for more information.
4. Reporting coronavirus grants on tax returns
Don’t forget that grants to support businesses and self-employed people during the pandemic are taxable. If your clients have claimed CJRS or SEISS grants, you need to include these as income on their tax return as well as some other COVID-19 grants they may have received. Depending on your clients’ business type, you’ll need to report this as income on the corporation tax return, the partnership return or the self-employment pages of the individual tax return. To find out how to include a grant or payment on the tax return, search ‘reporting coronavirus grants and support’ on GOV.UK.
5. Closure of extended appeal window due to coronavirus
In February 2020, HMRC introduced a three-month extended window to appeal against tax decisions and penalties if the delay in appealing was due to coronavirus. This ended on 30 September 2021. For tax decisions and penalties dated up to and including 30 September 2021, the extended window to appeal is still available. You and your clients should follow the normal process and times for appealing decisions dated from 1 October onwards.
We know that some customers are still feeling the impacts of coronavirus, and this may still be a reasonable excuse for not meeting their tax obligations on time in some cases. We will consider appeals and ask for evidence if needed. For more information search ‘disagree with a tax decision’ on GOV.UK.
Closure of bulk appeals against Income Tax Self-Assessment late filing penalties due to coronavirus
Since 24 March 2021 tax agents have been able to appeal in bulk against late filing penalties, on behalf of their clients, for 2019-20 tax returns filed after 28 February 2021. This allowed you to submit appeals for up to 25 clients at a time, where the reasonable excuse was due to coronavirus. From 1 October the bulk appeal process is no longer available, so you will need to follow the usual process, using. Search ‘appeal against penalties’ on GOV.UK. You can still claim reasonable excuse on behalf of your clients and, for decisions dated up to 30 September 2021, have the three-month extended window to appeal.
6. A word about scams
We are urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. We continue to see high numbers of fraudsters calling, emailing or texting customers claiming to be from HMRC.
If in doubt, we advise you not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact HMRC straight away and search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.
The National Cyber Security Centre has a helpful guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cybercrime, which you can find by searching ‘Cyber Aware’.