The Job Retention Scheme has been set up to enable employers to claim for their employees’ wages while they are on temporary leave of absence (furlough) due to the Coronavirus.

We are waiting for HMRC to set up the online service that will enable claims to be submitted. It has been confirmed that this will be made live on Monday 20 April 2020 and we expect the portal to be extremely busy for the first 24 hours. HMRC have run a beta test with a number of businesses and are hoping that the platform will be able to cope with up to 450,000 claims per hour.

Due to the expected high demand for use of the service, it is therefore recommended that you collate the information required to submit a claim in advance to ensure there are no unnecessary delays in making your claim.

We understand that in order to access the portal and submit a claim, you will need to have enrolled for PAYE online services via your HMRC Online Services Business Tax Account. You will therefore need to have the relevant login details for HMRC Online to hand (USER ID and Password) and ensure you have access to your PAYE online services account.

If you have not previously created an HMRC Online Services Business Tax Account, you will need to do so by clicking on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services and then click the Green ‘Sign in’ Button. You will then need to click on “Create sign in details” and follow the steps, to obtain a USER ID and password for your account. Once you have your USER ID and password, you must then click ‘Continue’ and on the next page, select ‘Organisation’. You should then be taken to your ‘Business Tax Account’ home page (If you are having trouble with HMRC’s website, please try logging in again with the USER ID and password you have just created at the link above).

If you have not previously enrolled for PAYE online services, then once you are in your Business Tax Account, you should then complete the following steps:

  • Click on “Manage Account”
  • Click on “Get online access to a tax, duty or scheme”.
  • Choose the option titled “Employers or intermediaries, for example PAYE for employers or CIS”.
  • Click on “PAYE for Employers”.
  • Click on ‘Yes’ to the question “Do you have an employer PAYE reference?”
  • Enter the PAYE and Accounts office reference details (if you are a client of Plus Accounting and need these, please contact us)
  • Click on “Request Access”

You should then have access to the PAYE for Employers section of your Business Tax Account, which will enable you to make a claim when HMRC have set up the new portal.

Once in the portal, the information required to be input as set out by HMRC is as follows:

  • your PAYE reference number
  • your business’ income tax or corporation tax reference (or Companies House registration number)
  • the number of employees being furloughed, with their names, NI numbers and payroll numbers (if applicable)
  • the claim period (start and end date)
  • amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks) – you will need to calculate this
  • your bank account number and sort code
  • your contact name
  • your phone number

This information is according to the latest guidance from HMRC, but they have not yet published final details of the procedure, and this is expected any time. We will update you as soon as it is available.

Plus Accounting will be able to assist with submitting claims for all of its clients and if you require assistance it is recommended that you register your interest with Vicky King and she will arrange for your main point of contact to liaise with you and ensure we hold all the relevant information to submit a claim on your behalf.

As we are not entirely sure of the exact format for submitting claims to HMRC, we have decided to charge a similar pricing structure to our payroll services and this is set out below;

£50 per claim

Plus £2 for each employee furloughed

i.e. if you run a business with 6 employees furloughed you would be charged £50 plus £12 = £62 for your first claim to HMRC.  For subsequent claims the fixed element will be £20 instead of £50, so a total of £32.

At the moment HMRC have advised that they expect the first claims to be paid out within 4-6 days of submission, therefore our team will aim to ensure that all claims are completed between 20 April and 24 April, which should mean that furlough grants are paid to you by the end of April/beginning of May.