The UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This page provides guidance to members on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Friday 20 March 2020. The content herein has been derived entirely from HMRC’s guidance and communications directly to Chartered Accountants Ireland on the CJRS.

A similar page providing guidance on the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is also available.

The Institute will continue to engage with HMRC on our members behalf in respect of COVID-19 supports and will share the most up to date information as it becomes available.

We therefore recommend that you bookmark this page and also regularly check the latest updates section of our COVID-19 hub.

This page was last updated on Monday, 11 January 2021

The CJRS - recent developments and key points

Important key points, updates and developments in the CJRS are as follows:-

  • the CJRS was originally planned to run for eight months until 31 October 2020 but in November 2020 was extended for a further five months until 31 March 2021;
  • a further extension of one month to 30 April 2021 was announced on 17 December 2020;
  • for the months of November 2020 to 31 January 2021 inclusive, the Government will pay 80 per cent of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month;
  • for the months of February 2021 to 30 April 2021 inclusive, the Government will also pay 80 per cent of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked; however at present the cap per month has not yet been confirmed;
  • under the extended scheme, there are monthly deadlines for claims – claims must be submitted by 11.59pm on the 14th day of the month after the relevant month – claims for the month of December 2020 must therefore be made by 14 January 2021;
  • if a monthly claim period from November 2020 is not submitted within the 14 day monthly deadline, HMRC may accept the claim if it is late and there is a reasonable excuse;
  • claims for periods up to and including 31 October 2020 cannot be made after 30 November 2020 nor will HMRC accept reasonable excuse for such late claims;
  • the deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed where there is an underclaim is 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;
  • therefore the deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in December 2020 is Thursday‌‌ ‌28‌‌ January 2021;
  • if there has been an overclaim under the CJRS and the employer has not already repaid it, they must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of either 90 days from receiving the CJRS grant it was not entitled to or 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that the employer was no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant;
  • failure to notify HMRC may result in interest and a penalty as well as repayment of the excess CJRS grant;
  • HMRC can be advised of overclaims via the employer’s next CJRS online claim;
  • If an employer has claimed too much but does not plan to submit further claims, they can let HMRC know and make a repayment online through their card payment service or by bank transfer;
  • from February 2021, HMRC intends to publish details of employers who use the scheme for claim periods from December 2020;
  • employees will also be able to check if their employer has made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from February 2021;
  • HMRC will not publish details of employers claiming through the scheme if employers can show that publicising these would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to certain individuals, or any individual living with them;
  • the CJRS guidance has been updated multiple times and includes a step-by-step guide for employers. See below for other useful links;
  • a calculator is available to help employers work out the relevant percentage of employees' wages to claim; and
  • the job retention bonus will not now be paid in February 2021 – given the extension of the CJRS for a further month to April 2021 it is not now clear if an alternative retention incentive will be considered by the Government.

The CJRS and agents

HMRC have also provided detailed guidance in respect of agents seeking to making CJRS applications on behalf of employers. Read how to check if you are authorised to complete a CJRS application for a client and also how an agent who is not currently authorised  online can become authorised to do so.

The CJRS - tax treatment of amounts received

Payments received by a business under the CJRS should be included as a source of taxable income in the financial statements of the relevant business subject to either Income Tax or Corporation Tax, in accordance with normal principles.

The CJRS - contacting HMRC

The contact details for the CJRS are available on GOV.UK. HMRC advice is to only use these contact channels if you cannot get the help you need online.

HMRC expect applications to be processed and claims made within six working days. You are therefore advised not to contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since the claim was made and you have not received it in that time.

The CJRS - useful links

Make sure to bookmark the relevant CJRS pages on GOV.UK on your web browser to ensure you’re getting the most up to date information.

Links to the most up to date guidance and related sources of information are provided below:-

Members are also advised to regularly check the availability of and any issues affecting the online CJRS portal. If you have a specific query or issue in respect of the CJRS or any other COVID-19 support which HMRC are administering, please check if your query is covered anywhere on GOV.UK or in our hub before contacting UK Taxation Specialist Leontia Doran.

Webinar

Hosted by the Ulster Society in partnership with A&L Goodbody, this webinar on April 23 examines many of the key questions which employers have about the Job Retention Scheme ("JRS") with some expert guidance from Leontia Doran, the Institute's UK Taxation Specialist and a chance to ask questions. Readers are advised that this webinar examined the JRS as it was up to 30 June 2020.

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