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Four key tips relating to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

Nick Irvin, Employment Tax Assistant Manager
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We have outlined a number of key tips to be aware of when submitting your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims.

1. Avoid being scammed

We have been made aware that some employers, after submitting a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim, have received a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC. The caller has asked for details of the employer, including the organisation name, address and tax reference.

It is not yet known whether these calls are part of a scam or not. A simple test would be to ask the caller to confirm the claim submission reference (which the employer would have received when making their claim), the date of the claim and the value of the claim. If the caller cannot verify these details do not provide any details to them.

2. Calendar days vs working days apportionment

There has been some confusion on how to apportion claims where employees have been furloughed for part of a pay period. HMRC have been very clear that in all cases, a calendar day basis should be used, not a working day basis.

Some payroll providers or other organisations have started to build calculators that use a working days basis. These should not be used as it could result in incorrect claims.

3. Calculating the employer National Insurance Contributions claim

When details of the scheme were first announced, many people anticipated that the amount to could be claimed in relation to employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) was strictly related to the amount of salary that can be claimed through the scheme (80% of the salary, capped at £2,500 per month).

However, despite what many people believed, the amount that can be claimed in relation to employer NICs is instead based on the amount the employee was actually paid during the pay period in which they were furloughed. This means the calculations can get quite complex, especially where the employer is topping up the pay above the amount of salary that can be claimed through the scheme.

4. Issues with access to the online services

We are aware that some employers, who appoint agents to submit their RTI returns or P11D forms, are struggling to access the online services, and may receive a message saying that they are already registered for PAYE online services.

Currently, we think this issue is because the agent has already registered the employer for PAYE online services in order to submit their returns and, instead, the employer needs to ‘add’ the PAYE online services to their business tax account, rather than attempt to register for PAYE services. If you are still having trouble accessing the online portal, please let us know.

If you require any assistance with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, please contact your usual Crowe contact or visit our CJRS insight for more information.


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Director, Employment Tax