With many areas of the UK moving into tier 3 from midnight tonight, the government has extended the CJRS to 30 April 2021.
Below we share everything you need to know about making a claim, deadlines to do so and what to do if you’ve under or over claimed.
Claiming the CJRS
You should have submitted your November furlough claim to HMRC by 14 December 2020. If you missed the deadline, your claim may still be accepted if you have a reasonable excuse for not getting it done in time.
You can find out everything you need to know about making a claim on the gov.uk website.
To ensure you don’t miss any future deadlines, here’s a list of all the key dates you need to know:
- 14 January 2021 – final date to submit claims for December 2020 by 11:59pm
- 15 February 2021 – final date to submit claims for January 2021 by 11:59pm
- 15 March 2021 – final date to submit claims for February 2021 by 11:59pm
- 14 April 2021 – final date to submit claims for March 2021 by 11:59pm
- 14 May 2021 – final date to submit claims for April 2021 by 11:59pm
HMRC has introduced these 14-day deadlines so they can regularly and more accurately see and react to the impact of coronavirus on businesses and individuals.
What if I’ve accidentally claimed too much for the CJRS?
If you’ve claimed too much and haven’t already repaid what you owe, please contact HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
- 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
- 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
If you don’t do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest, search ‘Interest rates for late and early payments’ on the gov.uk website.
You can repay as part of your next online claim without the need to call HMRC. If you claimed too much but don’t plan to submit further claims, you can let them know and make a repayment online through their card payment service or by bank transfer. You can find out more about this on gov.uk.
What if I haven’t claimed enough?
If you made a mistake in your claim which means you received too little money, you’ll need to amend it within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to – unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, in which case the deadline is the next weekday. The deadline to amend claims for November is Tuesday 29 December.
To find out how to amend your claim, search ‘get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on the gov.uk website.
Can I use CJRS grants to pay for holiday leave?
If you’ve furloughed employees because of the effect of coronavirus on your business, you can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave they take while on furlough. This includes bank holidays such as Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
If your employee is flexibly furloughed, you can count any time taken as holiday as furloughed hours rather than working hours. This means you can claim 80% of their usual wages for these hours. You should not place employees on furlough just because they’re going to be on paid leave.
If a furloughed employee takes holiday, you should top up their pay to their normal rate in line with the Working Time Regulations. For more information about this, head to the gov.uk website.
Can I include a Christmas bonus in my calculation for the grant?
You can claim for regular payments that you’re contractually obliged to pay your employees, including compulsory commission, fees and overtime. However, you cannot claim for discretionary commission, non-contractual bonuses (including tips) and non-cash payments. You can find out more about this here.
How do I calculate the grant amount for employees?
A CJRS calculator can work out most fixed or variable pay calculations. Please note however that the CJRS calculator can’t be used for some employees, including those who:
- Were variably paid, and have been on more than one period of furlough where any part of any of the periods of furlough was in the 2019/20 tax year
- Have variable pay, started employment before 6 April 2020 and were not on their employer’s payroll on or before 19 March 2020
- Started employment with their employer during a calendar period in the 2019-20 tax year which corresponds with part or all of the period being claimed for
For a complete list of circumstances, head over to gov.uk.
If you can’t use the calculator, you will need to work out what you can claim manually using the calculation guidance or by seeking professional advice from an accountant or tax adviser. It’s your responsibility to check the amount you’re claiming is correct but please do get in touch with PKB if you’re unsure about anything.
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