I hope you had a nice Easter break – certainly one to remember.

I had two emails over the weekend that related to the Job Retention Scheme (one from HMRC which you may have received and one from our institute the ICAEW), both of which contained some very relevant points as follows:

  1. The ICAEW have again made strong reference to employment law and emphasised that if you are dropping an employees pay to 80% when they are furloughed this is a change in their employment contract and should be recognised as such. If you are reducing employees pay during furlough (which most of our clients are) we urge you to take the appropriate employment law advice to avoid any claims in the future.
  2. They also expect the portal to be open on Monday 20th April 2020
  3. It appears that the portal will be attached to your HMRC services account. If you do not have a HMRC services account, create one now. If you have one, check that PAYE for Employers is attached to that login. If you do not have an account or PAYE isn’t attached to it please follow this link for all the information you need: https://www.gov.uk/paye-online/enrol You will need your payroll references to hand. To find your references, if you are using Xero payroll, login to Xero > select your organisation name (top left) > Settings > Payroll Settings > HMRC
  4. If we do your payroll for you we have already been undertaking steps to ensure you are attached to our HMRC Agent Account – you may receive an authentication code from HMRC in the post. If you do, please email it to us ASAP.
  5. HMRC have also stated you should prepare the following information in advance of the portal being live:
  • The bank account number and sort code you’d like HMRC to use when they pay your claim.
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  • 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.

Again, if we prepare your payroll we will prepare most of the above for you – we will need you to confirm the furlough period/s for each employee though.

As always, if you have any queries please do get in touch.