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Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Courtesy of HMRC

Guidance

Claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Published 20 April 2020 
Last updated 12 June 2020 — see all updates
From: HM Revenue & Customs

Contents

  1. What you’ll need
  2. How to claim
  3. After you’ve claimed
  4. Contacting HMRC

This guidance page was updated on 12 June to include details on how the scheme will change from 1 July.

The first time you will be able to make claims for days in July will be 1 July, you cannot claim for periods in July before this point.

31 July is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.

If you’re an employee you cannot claim for yourself, instead you should check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Use this online service to claim for your employees’ wages using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

To use the scheme, the steps you’ll need to take are:

  1. Check if you can claim.
  2. Check which employees you can put on furlough
  3. Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  4. Calculate how much you can claim.
  5. Claim for your employees’ wages.
  6. Report a payment in PAYE Real Time Information.

What you’ll need

To make a claim, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number (you will need to search for their number if you do not have it or contact HMRC if your employee does not have a number)
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amounts that you’re claiming for including:
    • employee wages
    • employer National Insurance contributions (for claims up to 31 July)
    • employer minimum pension contributions (for claims up to 31 July)
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

  • your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
  • your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
  • your company registration number

If you’re claiming for employees who are flexibly furloughed, you’ll need to have agreed the furlough arrangement with the employee (or reached a collective agreement with a trade union) and keep a written agreement that confirms the furlough arrangement.

For the claim period you’ll also need:

  • the number of usual hours your employee would work in the claim period
  • the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
  • you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period

Using an agent to do PAYE online

If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.

If you would like to use an agent, but do not have one authorised to do PAYE online for you, you can do that by accessing your HMRC online services and selecting ‘Manage Account’.

You must be enrolled in PAYE online for employers to do this and will need to ask your agent for their agent ID. Your agent can get this from their HMRC online service for agents by selecting ‘authorise client.’

You can also use this service to remove authorisation from your agent if you do not want it to continue after they have submitted your claim(s).

If an agent makes a claim on your behalf you will need to tell them which bank account you would like the grant to be paid into. You must only provide bank details where a BACS payment can be accepted.

If you’re putting 100 or more employees on furlough

If you’re claiming for 100 or more furloughed employees, you’ll need to upload a file containing the following for each employee:

  • full name
  • National Insurance number
  • payroll number (optional)
  • furlough start date
  • furlough end date (if known)
  • full amount claimed

If you’re flexibly furloughing any of these employees, you’ll also need to include:

  • hours they actually worked in the claim period
  • usual hours worked in the claim period

You’ll need to ensure that you:

  • provide only the employee information requested here – if you provide more or less information than required, you may risk delaying your payment and/or be asked to provide the information again
  • submit one line per employee for the whole period
  • do not break up the calculation into multiple periods within the claim
  • do not split data by contract type (for example, those paid weekly and monthly should be claimed for together)
  • upload your file as an .xls, .xlsx, .csv or .ods

HMRC will provide a file upload template to complete for claim periods starting on or after 1 July. Templates will available by that date and will be available in .xls, .xlsx, .csv and .ods formats.

How to claim

You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online.

If you do not finish your claim in one session, you can save a draft. You must complete your claim within 7 days of starting it.

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

Claim now

After you’ve claimed

Once you’ve claimed, you’ll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into your bank account within 6 working days.

You must:

  • keep a copy of all records for 6 years, including:
    • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
    • the claim reference number for your records
    • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
    • for employees you flexibly furloughed, usual hours worked including any calculations that were required
    • for employees you flexibly furloughed, actual hours worked
  • tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
  • pay your employee their wages, if you have not already

You must pay the full amount you are claiming to your employee and pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance Contributions, even if your company is in administration. If you’re not able to do that, you’ll need to repay the money back to HMRC. The same applies in relation to employer NICs and pension contributions you claim regarding your employee. The full amount you claim in respect of these must be paid or you will need to repay the money back to HMRC.

Employers cannot enter into any transaction with the worker which reduces the wages below the amount claimed. This includes any administration charge, fees or other costs in connection with the employment. Where an employee had authorised their employer to make deductions from their salary, these deductions can continue while the employee is furloughed provided that these deductions are not administration charges, fees or other costs in connection with the employment.

If you make an error when claiming

If you have made an error in a claim that has resulted in an overclaimed amount, you must pay this back to HMRC.

You can now tell us about an overclaimed amount as part of your next claim. You will be asked when making your claim whether you need to adjust the amount down to take account of a previous error. Your new claim amount will be reduced to reflect this. You do not need to take further action but should keep a record of this adjustment for six years.

If you have made an error that has resulted in an underclaimed amount, you should contact HMRC to amend your claim. As you are increasing the amount of your claim, they need to conduct additional checks.

If you have made an error in a claim and do not plan to submit further claims, HMRC are working on a process that will allow you to let them know about your error and pay back any amounts that you have overclaimed. They will update guidance when this is available.

When the government ends the scheme

When the scheme closes on October 31, you must decide, depending on your circumstances, as to whether employees can return to their normal hours. If not, it may be necessary to consider reducing their hours, or a termination of employment (redundancy). Normal redundancy rules apply to furloughed employees.

Tax Treatment of the Coronavirus Job Retention Grant

Payments received by a business under the scheme are made to offset these deductible revenue costs. They must therefore be included as income in the business’s calculation of its taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes, in accordance with normal principles.

Businesses can deduct employment costs as normal when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Individuals with employees that are not employed as part of a business (such as nannies or other domestic staff) are not taxable on grants received under the scheme. Domestic staff are subject to Income Tax and NICs on their wages as normal.

How to report grant payments in Real Time Information

Find out how to report Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant payments on Real Time Information submissions.

Contacting HMRC

Do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made the claim and you have not received it in that time.

Get help online

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact HMRC about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if you cannot get the help you need online.

Last updated 12 June 2020 + show all updates