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HMRC Covid Update 8.2.21

HMRC Covid Update 8.2.21

I’m writing to remind you of an upcoming deadline for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims, and to answer some questions you may have.

Also included is information on checking claims you made for variable paid employees – those not on fixed salaries – and more on HMRC publishing details of your CJRS claims from this month.

  1. January claims
  2. Checking your claims for variable pay if you’ve used the HMRC calculator
  3. Publishing information about your claims
  4. Frequently asked questions about the CJRS
  5. Where can I get further support?

January claims – submit now

Thank you if you have submitted your January furlough claims already. If you haven’t submitted your claims for January, you must do so by the deadline of Monday‌‌ ‌15 February.

As a reminder, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim, if you and your employees meet the eligibility criteria.

What you need to do now

  1. Check if you’re eligible and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK.
  2. Submit any claims for January no later than Monday‌‌ ‌15 February.
  3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them. ‌

Checking your claims for variable pay if you’ve used the HMRC calculator

I’m afraid our CJRS calculator on GOV‌‌‌.UK contained a software error, which we have now corrected. If you used it before 21 January to work out January claims for your employees that are not on a fixed salary you’ll need to re-calculate your claims if:

  • you used an employee’s pay for January 2019 as reference pay, instead of 2020, and
  • their pay was different in January 2019 to January 2020.

If you used your employee’s January 2020 pay you do not need to take any action.

Please accept my apologies if you need to re-calculate your claim.

If after you have made your re-calculation you find out your claim was incorrect and:

  • you have claimed too much, you should amend this in your next claim or let us know as soon as possible and make a repayment online, through our card payment service or by bank transfer – go to ‘Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.‌‌‌‌‌‌UK.
  • you claimed too little, please call the helpline to amend this by 1‌‌ ‌March.

Go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search ‘Get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ for more information on how to amend your claim.

Publishing information about your claims

In January we published the list of employers who claimed under the CJRS for periods from December onwards, on GOV‌‌‌.UK. Starting from 25‌‌ ‌February, on a monthly basis we will publish the names and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods starting on or after 1‌‌ ‌December, together with an indication of the value of their claims.

We will not publish the exact amount of your claims, but rather the band within which your claims fall; for example £0 – £10,000, £10,000 – £25,000, or £25,000 – £50,000. To find the full list of these bands, search ‘Employers who have claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK. The details we publish will not include information about your employees.

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

If you think publishing these details would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to you or others, you can request that details of your claims are not published. More details are given in our frequently asked questions below.

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 25‌‌ ‌February. If they do not already have a Personal Tax Account, they can set one up by going to GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK and searching ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’.

Frequently asked questions about the CJRS

You can find everything you need to know about the CJRS on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’, but here are some answers to the questions employers have been asking us recently.

How do I ask HMRC not to publish my claim details?

If publishing your claim details could leave someone at risk of violence or intimidation, you can request for these not to be published by completing the online application form – go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search ‘Ask HMRC not to publish your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim details’.

We will not publish your details until we have informed you of our decision on your application. You’ll only need to apply once, as the decision will cover all CJRS claim periods starting from 1 December 2020. You must make the application yourself, and it can’t be made by an agent on your behalf.

Can I claim for employees who are training?

You can claim for employees who undertake training while they are furloughed, as long as they don’t provide services to, or generate revenue for, your business or a linked or associated organisation. For more information, go to GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK and search ‘Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’.

Can I furlough an employee if they are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities or are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable?

If an employee asks to be furloughed, you can claim for them under the CJRS if:

  • they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare closing, or
  • they are clinically extremely vulnerable, or in the highest risk group for severe illness from coronavirus according to the public health guidance for your area.

For other circumstances where you can furlough an employee, go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search ‘check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.

The decision to offer furlough rests with you as an employer.

How do I access HMRC online services?

To make a CJRS claim, you will need to be registered for an online account with HMRC and have your password and ID to hand. If you need to set up a new account or have lost your login details, search ‘HMRC services’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK. You’ll be sent an activation code after registering which can take up to 10 days to arrive, so please take this time into account if you plan to make a claim.

Where can I get further support?

Thousands of people have benefitted from our live webinars which offer support on the CJRS, and how it applies to you. To book online, or to view updated guidance, go to GOV‌‌‌‌.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’. If you’re booked on a webinar but can no longer attend, please cancel your place where possible to allow space for others to register.

There’s a list of monthly claims deadlines and a helpful step-by-step guide on GOV‌‌‌.UK, summarising the latest information on the CJRS and the steps you need to take to make a claim – you can find these by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme step by step guide’.

Our phone lines and webchat remain very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.

Protect yourself from scams   

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. Search ‘CyberAware’ on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.

Access the National Cyber Security Centre’s guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself and your business against cyber crime by searching ‘Cyber‌‌Aware’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

I hope this information helps you and your business, and we’ll continue to keep you updated.