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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) Portal Due To Open 20 April

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16 April 2020

The HMRC portal, to which employers will upload their furloughed employees’ details to claim 80% of their gross salary of wages up to £2,500, is due to open on 20 April 2020.

HMRC has indicated that the first claims will be paid six days after this and, that in future, claims will be paid within four to six days.

It appears that, following the initial backdated claims, further claims can be made no more than 14 days before payrolls are run.

Tax agents who are authorised to act for PAYE matters will be able to file claims for their clients. As a client of Hall Morrice, if we already act in respect of your payroll matters, we will hold a tax agent mandate for you which authorises us to act on your behalf for PAYE and other tax matters with HMRC.

There is an HMRC recorded webinar which may be helpful to you.

In order to be prepared for uploading your employees’ information to the portal you will need the following to hand:

  • The bank account number and sort code for the account you wish your claim to be paid into
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions
  • Your Self Assessment or Company Unique Tax Reference (UTR) or your Company Registration Number (CRN)
  • The name, employee number and national insurance number for each of your furloughed employees
  • The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period

If you have furloughed fewer than 100 staff you will need to input their information directly into the system for each employee. If you have 100 or more furloughed staff you will need to upload a file with the information in an .xls, xlsx, csv or ods file format.

If you are not a client of Hall Morrice, and use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.

However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 28 February 2020, you can re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme. This applies to employees that were made redundant or stopped working for you after 28 February, even if you do not re-employ them until after 19 March. This applies as long as the employee was on your payroll as at 28 February and had been notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February 2020. This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 28 February 2020

HMRC has reported that it has tested capacity of the portal and it is “confident that it will be able to cope with the very large volume of claims” that they expect to receive. The system is reportedly scaled to cope with 2 million PAYE schemes and claims in the first 10 days and has a design capacity of 450,000 users per hour. HMRC is also in the process of producing a support pack for employers which it hopes will ease the volume of incoming enquiries to its phone lines.

More general information on the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found on the government website here.

Our team at Hall Morrice is also on hand throughout to help you with any element of this scheme. Email us here.


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