With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) drawing to a close, it is vital to keep updated with the latest information for your business and your employees.
Submit CJRS claims by the end of September
The CJRS closed on 30 September and the final deadline for claims (for September) was 14 October 2021. If your claim for September needs to be amended because you have not claimed enough or claimed too much, you must do so by Thursday 28 October. Be sure to keep all records of your claims for 6 years as HMRC may need to check them in the future.
Repay any overclaimed or un-needed amounts of CJRS grants
Whilst the CJRS was in operation, employers had the facility to make adjustments to their current monthly claim if they had overclaimed in a previous month. This provided employers the facility to not only make minor corrective changes which may have been required (due to a change in actual vs estimated hours worked/furloughed during the previous month for example), but to also make any adjustments which may be due following an internal audit/review of the company’s CJRS claims.
This facility is no longer available to employers but companies can still repay HMRC any overpaid CJRS directly (using the usual HMRC banking information) within 90 days of receiving an incorrect grant. In doing this companies should avoid potential penalties related to claiming an incorrect amount.
Since the very outset of the scheme, HMRC have expected employers to continually review their claims in order to make sure they are correct and based on factual data (especially regarding hours worked/not worked for flexi-furlough cases) rather than estimates. If your organisation has not reviewed its previous claims to qualify they are accurate, we recommend doing so now so that any overclaimed amounts can be paid back within 90 days of the final September claim period. Keeping records of the review will also be helpful should HMRC conduct a review of your claims at a later date.
The end of the CJRS – other UK Government support available
If you are unable to bring your employees back to work, advise them to check the Government’s Job Help website as this offers them an array of support and training for their future. Here they can learn new skills and discover what sectors are actively recruiting. For your business, there is the UK Government Help to Grow Scheme. This offers discounted management courses and digital support which enables your employees to learn new skills and your business to reach new customers. Additionally, there is a lot of Government support to help businesses gain new employees such as apprenticeships and placements.
Reporting coronavirus grants on tax returns
Grants to support businesses and self-employed people during the pandemic are subject to income tax and self-employed National Insurance contributions (NIC). If you have claimed CJRS grants, or other COVID grants, they need to be included as income on your business’ tax return as well as some other COVID grants you might have received.
Closure of extended appeal window due to coronavirus
From 1 October 2021, HMRC has withdrawn its extended window for appealing against tax decisions and penalties. Businesses had been given an extra 3 months, on top of the standard 30 days, to appeal any relevant tax decision or penalties dated from February 2020 if the delay was due to coronavirus. However, the impacts of coronavirus may be still a Reasonable Excuse for customers not meeting their tax obligations and HMRC will consider such claims under its usual arrangements.