COVID-19 support schemes – this week’s update, 1 March 2021

Mar 01, 2021

Today, Monday 1 March 2021, is the deadline to amend CJRS claims for the month of  January 2021. February 2021 CJRS claims must be made by Monday 15 March 2021 unless reasonable excuse is available for late claims and we expect to hear details about the fourth SEISS grant in the Budget on Wednesday this week. The online portal for applying for further deferral of VAT opened last week as expected. Due to banking regulations, agents are not able to make applications on behalf of businesses.

HMRC is encouraging businesses who are able to pay their deferred VAT to do so by 31 March 2021. However, businesses that deferred VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make can further defer this VAT by joining the VAT deferral new payment scheme online. This new scheme lets businesses pay their deferred VAT in equal instalments; interest free.

If a business is on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, they’ll be invited to join the new payment scheme later this month. If a business has a Time to Pay arrangement already in place for their deferred VAT, they will not be able to join the new payment scheme.

Eligible businesses can spread their payments across 2 to 11 monthly instalments depending on when they join - the earlier they join, the more months they have to spread their payments across.

Before joining, businesses must:

  • create their own Government Gateway account (if they don’t already have one);
  • submit any outstanding VAT returns from the last 4 years – otherwise they’ll not be able to join the scheme;
  • correct errors on their VAT returns as soon as possible; and
  • make sure they know how much they owe, including the amount they originally deferred and how much they may have already paid.

The online service will close on 21 June 2021 therefore if businesses want to join the scheme and further defer VAT, they must do so before this date.

Last week the following changes were made to the CJRS guidance pages on GOV.UK:-

Page title

Changes

All

Callout box amended

Claims for furlough days in February January 2021 must be made by 15 February March 2021

Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Employee Page)

To advise that more informationon training is available by searching Career Skillsand Training on GOV.UK.

To update the section 'Details of your claim that will be publicly available' to highlight that employees can use their Personal Tax account to see if they were included in any December 2020 claims.

Check if you can claim for your employee's wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

To advise that more informationon training is available by searching Career Skillsand Training on GOV.UK.

To update the section 'Details of your claim that will be publicly available to highlight that employees can use their Personal Tax account to see if they were included in any December 2020 claims.

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

To remove some erroneous text showing only on this page in the link to Claim your employee's wages online.

Employers who have claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

To upload employer's December claims in bandwidths.