COVID support schemes – this week’s update

Nov 23, 2020

This week’s update looks at an important deadline for the job retention scheme and eligibility for the self-employed income support schemes if you’ve stopped trading.

HMRC has also commenced post-payment compliance checks in respect of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and guidance has also been published as follows in respect of the scheme:

Job retention scheme – 30 November deadline

The deadline for submitting claims under the job retention scheme for periods that ended on or before 31 October is still 30 November 2020. Underclaims for periods up to and including 31 October must also be corrected by the same date.

Readers are reminded that a different time limits applies where an employer needs to correct an overclaim. This must be done within 90 days of Royal Assent to Finance Act 2020 (22 July 2020) or 90 days of receipt of the grant, whichever is the later.

Failure to notify HMRC of an overpaid grant may result in the imposition of interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess grant. Amounts still due to HMRC will then be recovered through a special income tax charge on the employer. In order to act for your client in scenarios where HMRC conduct a check on their entitlement to claim CJRS, agents must be appointed for income tax purposes as recovery is made via an income tax charge.

Guidance on how to pay all or some of your grant back if you’ve overclaimed, or if you do not need the grant and want to make a voluntary repayment is also available.

Job retention scheme – annual PAYE schemes

Under the extended CJRS scheme, it would appear that annual PAYE scheme employers may now be able to claim, subject to meeting the relevant conditions. They were previously unable to do so as CJRS up to 31 October 2020 required a payment of earnings in 2019/20 which had been reported on a RTI submission made on or before 19 March 2020. The extended CJRS is available for periods from 1 November 2020 onwards, for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as the employer has made a RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. 

Self-employed income support scheme – cessation of trade

A form is now available to use if you received an email from HMRC, asking you to confirm if you’ve stopped trading so that HMRC can check if you were eligible for the grant.

Self-employed income support scheme – third grant

We also expect guidance on eligibility for the third grant to be published this week and HMRC is telling us that applications for the third grant will open from next week. Claimants who fail to respond to HMRC when contacted about this will not be able to claim further grants.