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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – February 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – February 2021

29 January 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until 30 April 2021. You can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, and employees can be furloughed for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked.

Find all the information you need to make a claim on the GOV.UK website here, or read on to get the latest updates.

You can now make January claims

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

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

You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim. You can check if you’re eligible and work out how much you can claim using the CJRS calculator and examples by clicking here.

What you need to do now

1. If you haven’t submitted your claim for December but believe that you have a reasonable excuse, check if you can apply to make a late claim by clicking here.

2. Check you claimed the right amount in December by looking at the eligibility criteria and calculating how much you can claim

3. Make your claim by clicking here

4. Submit any claims for January no later than Monday 15 February.

5. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.

Making your claim online

To make a CJRS claim, you will need to be registered and have the required access, password or activation code for HMRC online services. Click here for more information.

December claims

If you didn’t submit your December furlough claim by the deadline of 14 January, HMRC may still accept it if you have a reasonable excuse for not claiming by the deadline, such as you were self-isolating or had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from completing it.

If your reason means you can claim late, please do so as soon as you’re able to, and note that reasonable excuses only apply to late claims for periods from November onwards. Click here for more information on reasonable excuses.

If you have already submitted your claims for December but need to make a change because you didn’t claim enough, you can do this until Thursday 28 January. Click here to find out how to amend your claim.

Furlough for caring responsibilities

Your employees can ask to be furloughed because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare closing. You can place them on furlough and claim for them under the CJRS.

Publishing information on claims

From February, HMRC will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods starting on or after 1 December. The published value of your claim will be shown within a banded range.

Your employees will also be able to check if you have made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from February. They can set up a Personal Tax Account by clicking here.

Details of CJRS claims will now be published monthly as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims.

VAT Payments Deferral Scheme – correcting errors

If you notice an error on a VAT return which relates to a period covered by the VAT Payments Deferral Scheme, you should send a VAT652 form to HMRC as soon as possible. More information can be found here.

You will then receive a Statement of Account confirming your balance, and if any extra payments are needed as a result, you can contact HMRC to defer these too, before the end of January.

You can:

  • Pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021
  • Opt in to the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme when it launches in early 2021 (more information to follow shortly)
  • Contact HMRC if you need more help to pay.

Where can I get further support?

HMRC offer live webinars which now offer more support on changes to CJRS, and how they affect you. Click here to book online, or to view updated guidance.

There’s also a list of monthly claims deadlines and a helpful step-by-step guide on GOV.UK, summarising the latest information on CJRS and the steps you need to take to make a claim, which can be found here.

The quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV.UK, which will leave HMRC’s phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.

If you need further assistance with any aspect of furlough, the IGA Member Helpline team is here to help. Call the direct member helpline, 0845 305 4230, or email enquiries@rmif.co.uk.