Actions for you and your clients – prepare for the closure of the Job Retention Scheme and the latest on SEISS
Here’s the latest information about the support schemes available to help your clients, as part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs.
This includes information to help you and your clients prepare for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) closing on 30 September and the latest on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
To find out what other financial support may be available for your clients, search ‘find coronavirus financial support’ on GOV.UK.
1. Submit CJRS claims for September
Final CJRS claims for September can now be submitted and must be made by 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:
- prepare for the scheme closing on 30 September
- 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 continue paying CJRS-related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, and contact us if they’re struggling to pay.
2. Preparing for the end of the CJRS - frequently asked questions
As the CJRS closes on 30 September, your clients will be thinking about next steps for their employees and their business.
You can find everything you and your clients need to know about the CJRS on GOV.UK, and here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions:
What should my client do when the scheme closes?
Your client will need to:
- bring their employees back to work on their agreed terms and conditions
- agree any changes to their terms and conditions with them
- consider ending their employment.
When making decisions about how and when to end furlough arrangements, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way. For more information search ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
Can my client claim CJRS for employees on notice periods?
Employers cannot claim CJRS grants for any days an employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement, resignation or redundancy.
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 your 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 who’s recruiting. Search GOV.UK for ‘Plan for Jobs programmes’ 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 after the CJRS has closed?
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. To register their interest, search GOV.UK for ‘Help to Grow’.
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.
What if my client claimed too much in error?
If your client has claimed too much CJRS grant and has not already repaid the overclaimed amount, they can repay as part of their next online claim without needing to call us. If they claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, they can let us know and make a repayment online through our card payment service or by bank transfer – go to ‘pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back’ on GOV.UK.
Your client must tell us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date below applies:
- 90 days from receiving the CJRS money they’re not entitled to
- 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that they were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
If your client doesn’t do this, they may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. Search ‘interest rates for late and early payments’ on GOV.UK.
What if my client hasn’t claimed enough?
If your client made a mistake in their claim that means they received too little money, they’ll need to amend their claim within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to – unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, where the deadline is the next weekday. The deadline to amend claims for August is Tuesday 28 September.
To find out how, search ‘get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
Ahead of the 30 September deadline to claim the fifth and final Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, here are the latest updates for you and your clients.
Preparing turnover figures for the fifth SEISS grant
The majority of customers applying for the fifth SEISS grant need to tell us their turnover for the:
- ‘reference period’ (this needs to be based on a 12-month period, including the total turnover for all of their businesses, and in most cases can be taken from the 2019-20 or 2018-19 tax return)
- ‘pandemic period’ (a 12-month period which starts on any date from 1 April to 6 April 2020).
We will use these figures to work out how much grant they will receive.
As your clients may be asking you for support in preparing their figures, this guidance may help them:
- GOV.UK guidance – search for ‘work out your turnover’
- YouTube video – search for ‘HMRC get ready to claim the fifth grant’.
You can help your clients prepare their figures, but cannot submit SEISS claims on their behalf.
Delays to processing 2020-21 Self Assessment tax returns
We previously let you know about a delay to processing some 2020-21 tax returns where SEISS grants have not been reported in the way we expected. We have now corrected all of the affected returns submitted before 19 June, and continue to correct the SEISS grant amounts included in 2020-21 Self Assessment returns submitted after that date.
There are a small number of return amendments, received before 19 June, which still need processing. We expect these to be completed by the first week of October and are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the delay.
We’ll contact customers if we correct their return, and depending on the changes made, you or your clients may need to take further action. It’s important to check any adjustment or statement of account to make sure the changes are accurate, otherwise your client might be taxed twice for their SEISS grant.
If your clients receive a statement of account and need to make further amendments to their return, they can find guidance on how to do this at gov.uk/check-your-return-for-seiss. If you’re an authorised agent, you can call us on your client’s behalf to make any necessary changes.
Further support for customers with debt
We continue to support customers with debts who get in touch with us, and can help with payment plans or accessing services such as our Self Assessment Self Service Time to Pay. Please encourage your clients to get in touch if they’re struggling to pay.
4. 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 cyber crime, which you can find by searching ‘Cyber Aware’.