November 20, 2020

What you need to make a claim

To claim under the furlough scheme, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online;
  • your UK/Channel Island/Isle of Man bank account number and sort code;
  • the billing address on your bank account;
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number;
  • the number of employees on furlough;
  • the National Insurance number for each furloughed employee;
  • the start date and end date of the claim;
  • the full amounts you are claiming for, which includes:
    • employee wages
    • employer National Insurance contributions (for claims up to 31 July 2020)
    • employer minimum pension contributions (for claims up to 31 July 2020)
  • your phone number;
  • contact name.

You must also provide:

  • your name;
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference;
  • your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference;
  • your company registration number.

If you are claiming for employees who are flexibly furloughed, you will also need:

  • the number of hours that the employee would normally work during the claim period;
  • the number of hours that the employee has or will work during the claim period;
  • to record the number of furloughed hours during the claim period.

Employers must provide HMRC will all the necessary information as if an incomplete or incorrect claim is submitted, payment will be at risk or delayed.

Using an agent to do PAYE online 

If an agent is authorised to complete PAYE online on your behalf, they will also be able to claim under the furlough scheme for you.

If you use an agent, you need to:

  • obtain the agent’s agent ID – you can find this on their HMRC online service for agents account under ‘authorise client’;
  • be enrolled for PAYE online for employers;
  • give them your UK bank account details.

If you have at least 100 furloughed employees  

Templates are available on the government website for submitting a claim for 100 or more employees for a claim period from 1 July

The templates can be found here.

These templates will speed up the claim process, but the information must be provided in the correct format on the template to be successful.

How to claim

To claim under the furlough scheme, you will need the Government Gateway user ID and password you received upon registering for PAYE online.

When to claim 

You can submit a claim at any point during the payroll process, but you must meet the relevant claim period deadline.

In any event, you cannot submit your claim over 14 days before the end date of your claim period.

You can submit a new claim before the end date of a previous claim period, and you can claim over 14 days before the pay date (e.g. if you pay employees in arrears).

Your claim can be saved as a draft if you do not finish it in one session, but you must complete a claim within 7 days of starting it.

Claim deadlines

The deadline for submitting or changing claims for periods before 31 October 2020 is 30 November 2020.

Claims from 1 November must be submitted within 14 days of the month you are claiming for. If this deadline falls on a bank holiday, then claims must be submitted by the next working day.

The deadlines are as follows:

Claim for furlough days in

Claim must be submitted by

November 2020

14 December 2020

December 2020

14 January 2021

January 2021

15 February 2021

February 2021

15 March 2021

March 2021

14 April 2021

If you do not submit a claim by the relevant deadline, HMRC may still accept it if you have a reasonable excuse and submit your claim as soon as possible. Reasonable excuses include:

  • the death of a partner or close relative shortly before the deadline;
  • an unexpected hospital stay which prevented you from submitting the claim;
  • a serious or life-threatening illness (including Coronavirus-related illness) which prevented you from submitting the claim when nobody else could do it on your behalf;
  • a period of self-isolation which prevented you from submitting the claim when nobody else could do it on your behalf;
  • computer or software failure before or while you were submitting the claim;
  • a fire, flood or theft which prevented you from submitting the claim;
  • unpredictable postal delays which prevented you from submitting the claim;
  • service issues with HMRC online services which prevented you from submitting the claim;
  • delays related to disability which prevented you from submitting the claim;
  • a HMRC error which prevented you from submitting the claim.

After you have made a claim

Once your claim has been submitted, you will receive a claim reference number.

HMRC will check the validity of your claim and pay the claim amount by BACs into your bank account within 6 working days.

You need to:

  • keep a copy of all records for 6 years, which includes:
    • the claim amount and period for every employee
    • the claim reference number
    • your calculations in case HMRC request further information
    • the normal hours worked by employees on flexible furlough including any relevant calculations
    • the hours worked by employees on flexible furlough
  • inform your employees that a claim has been made and they do not need to do anything
  • pay your employee their wages if you have not already done this

The full amount of your claim must be paid as wages to your employees and you must pay the associated employee tax, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions to HMRC.

If you submit a claim in relation to employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions, you will have to pay the full amount or repay HMRC in respect of this.

Tax 

You must include the payments you have received under the furlough scheme as income when calculating your taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Employment costs can be deducted as usual when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Individuals with employees that are not employed as part of a business (e.g. nannies and domestic staff) are not taxable on payments received under the furlough scheme. Domestic staff will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on their wages as usual.

If you have not claimed enough

If an error with your claim causes you not to receive enough payment, you still need to pay your employees the correct amount.

You should contact HMRC by 30 November to correct your claim, and additional checks may be required.

As the deadline for claims on or before 31 October 2020 is 30 November 2020, you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims for this period after this date.

For claim periods from 1 November 2020, you will be able to amend your claims within 28 calendar days after the month which the claim relates to. If this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, you will need to amend your claim by the next working day.

The deadlines for amending claims are as follows:

To amend a claim for:

You must amend the claim by 11:59pm on:

November 2020

29 December 2020

December 2020

28 January 2021

January 2021

1 March 2021

February 2021

29 March 2021

March 2021

28 April 2021

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About the author 

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners and regularly writes articles surrounding issues in HR & Employment Law. Outside of the office, James is a keen Cricketer, playing in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves going to watch his football team, Crewe Alexandra. Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.

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