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COVID-19 Support for Employers – Latest Information from HMRC

Please find below more information from HMRC on the financial support schemes available to help you and your clients through the COVID-19 pandemic, including updates on deferring VAT and claiming for furloughed staff through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

VAT deferral new payment scheme – join from 23 February

If businesses deferred paying VAT due in the period from 20 March to 30 June 2020 and can’t afford to pay by 31 March 2021, they can join the VAT deferral new payment scheme and pay their deferred VAT over a longer period.

The online service will open on 23 February 2021 and close on 21 June 2021. Businesses can make up to 11 monthly instalments, interest free. The earlier your client joins, the more months they can spread their payments across.

Your client can join the scheme online without the need to call – they can go to GOV.UK for more information and to join quickly and simply online when the scheme opens. Please note that HMRC is unable to provide an agent service for this scheme.

Businesses that need more time to pay their deferred VAT should contact HMRC.

January CJRS Claims

Thank you if you submitted your clients’ January claims by the deadline of 15 February.

If you or your clients didn’t, we may still accept it if there is a reasonable excuse for not claiming by the deadline, such as self-isolating (and no-one else could make the claim for them) or an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented completing a claim.

If the reason means you or your client can apply to claim late, please do so as soon as you’re able to. For more information on reasonable excuses, go to GOV.UK.

You can now make February CJRS claims

You can now submit your claims for periods in February. These must be made by Monday 15 March.

You can claim before, during or after your client’s payroll is processed. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your client’s employees will work so you don’t have to amend the claim later.

Check if your client and their employees are eligible and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples.

What you or your clients need to do now

  1. If you haven’t submitted your client’s claim for January but believe that they have a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline, check if you can make a late claim on GOV.UK.
  2. Submit any claims for February no later than Monday 15 March.
  3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants claimed, in case HMRC needs to check them.

Publishing information about employers’ CJRS claims

We are now publishing a monthly list of employers who claimed under the CJRS for periods from December onwards on GOV.UK, as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims. 

This will include (from 25 February) employer names, Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) and banded amounts of how much the claim was for. This means employers’ information may appear differently to the list of company names we published in January. We will not publish the exact amount of employers’ claims, but rather the band within which their claims fall; for example £0-£10,000, £10,000-£25,000, or £25,000-£50,000. You can find a full list of these bands on GOV.UK. The details we publish will not include information about their employees.

If your clients think publishing these details would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to them or others, they can request that details of their claims are not published.

Employees will also be able to check if a CJRS claim has been made on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from 25 February. If they do not already have a Personal Tax Account (PTA), they can set one up by going to GOV.UK and searching 'Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up'. HMRC will not be able to provide any further details apart from those available in the Personal Tax Account, so if employees have any questions about the information shown in their PTA, they should speak to their employer in the first instance.