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Important changes to the Job Retention Scheme

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With the Covid vaccination programme beginning to get under way, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel for businesses hoping to reopen their doors and return to normality. For the time being, however, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme remains in place to help businesses retain staff. Neil Moon, Partner at Page Kirk, goes through the key areas that companies and organisations need to discuss with their accountants over the coming weeks.

It's a fast-changing scene, as we come to the end of 2020. That's why it is more important than ever for you to keep on top of the CJRS requirements to ensure you are receiving all the support available to you and avoid fines related to overclaiming.

The government has extended the furlough scheme until 31st March, with a review anticipated in January. This means, until then, your employees will receive 80% of their wages for the hours that they have not worked, up to a cap of £2,500.

New CJRS Deadline Rules

Each month there will be a deadline for CJRS claims, which is up to 14 days after the month that the claim covers. If this day falls on a weekend, the deadline will be on the next weekday.

Notice Periods

If your employee is on their contractual or statutory notice, you are unable to claim throughout this period. These HMRC rules also cover notices of retirement or resignation.

Haven't claimed enough CJRS?

You have 28 days to make amendments from the month to which the claim relates. If this date falls on a weekend, it will be the next weekday. For example, the deadline for amendments for November is 29th December.

Claimed too much CJRS?

If you have been paid too much through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you or your accountant need to notify HMRC within 90 days of receiving the overpayment. The same 90-day period applies to new circumstances that mean you are no longer entitled to the grant.

CJRS Fines

If you don't inform HMRC, you may be liable to pay interest on the amount and possibly even a fine. If you have paid too much, you can repay the amount online via card or bank transfer on GOV UK.

The process for calculating CJRS grants is increasingly complex and can easily be done incorrectly, leading to fines in the future. We advise that you speak to a chartered accountant before working out whether you're entitled to more of a grant or whether you're liable for paying some back.

Changes to the data we publish to HMRC

From February, HMRC are required to publish the names and an indication of the value of the claim and Company Registration Number (if applicable) of employers who make CJRS claims from December onwards. HMRC will also publish information about CJRS claims every month in order to maintain transparency around the Job Retention Scheme. Employees will also be able to check if their employer has made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their Personal Tax Account.

If you believe that you have overclaimed the CJRS, haven't claimed enough, or perhaps you need some advice about the best way to claim, simply contact a member of the Page Kirk team on 0115 955 5500 or email enquiries@pagekirk.co.uk.

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