The online portal through which businesses can register their furloughed workers and apply to receive a grant to cover 80% of furloughed workers wages from the government, will be available from 20th April.
Furthermore, the government has extended the eligibility to 19 March 2020 – the day before the scheme was announced.
Previously the date had been set as 28th February. This means that employers can claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020.
Clearly getting details of the date from when employers can start making a claim plus the date extension is welcome news. However, it seems clear that the HMRC will be inundated with queries and claims as soon as their online portal opens on 20th April.
Therefore, they have asked accountants such as us, to support them in this mammoth task of getting these grants to businesses as quickly as possible and with the minimum of fuss.
If you need to apply for a grant, we recommend that you start to collate the information that you will need now, ready to submit your application on 20th April to receive your grant at the earliest possible date.
The key things that employers will need to make a claim are:
• Your PAYE reference number, UTR and Company number (if applicable)
• The number of employees being furloughed
• The claim period (start and end date)
• Amount claimed
• Your bank account number and sort code
• Your contact name and your phone number
Worryingly there is no clarity on when grants will be paid to businesses. The expectation is that it may take weeks as opposed to days. This is a concern for all businesses but especially SME’s who are struggling with cashflow and need certainty about when they will receive these vital funds
You may also want to read our article on the Job retention scheme