HMRC updates – 24 November

Announcements for virtual Christmas parties, the furlough scheme and more – 24 November.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The CJRS has been extended to 31 ‌March 2021 for all parts of the UK. From 1 November, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The government will review the terms of the scheme in January.

Employers and their employees do not need to have benefited from the scheme before to claim for periods from 1 November.

What employers need to do now

  • Submit any claims for periods up to 31 October on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌November – they will not be accepted after this date. Claims are subject to eligibility and the rules in force at the time.
  • Submit any claims for November, no later than 14‌‌‌ ‌December. You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll as long as your claim is submitted by the deadline.
  • Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them. You can view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV.UK.

For claim periods from 1 December, employers cannot claim CJRS grants for any days that their employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement or resignation.

Employers can check if they’re eligible, and work out how much they can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, on GOV.UK.

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Claims deadlines

There are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims for periods starting on or after 1 November must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday. The deadline to make claims for employees furloughed in November is Monday 14 December.

Publishing employers’ information

HMRC will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers of employers who make CJRS claims for periods from December onwards.

For claim periods from December, employees will also be able to check if their employer has made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account.

VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

Businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period. Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, businesses can make up to 11 smaller monthly payments, interest-free. All instalments must be paid by the end of March 2022. They will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that their deferred VAT liabilities do not need to be paid by the end of March 2021.

The VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme will require a Direct Debit to be set up as part of the digital opt-in process and this must be done by the authorised bank account holder. Because of that, HMRC is unable to provide an agent service for the scheme. HMRC will let you know the details of the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme and its operation as soon as possible. Businesses that can pay their deferred VAT should still do so by 31 March 2021.

You can find further information on GOV.UK.

Virtual Christmas parties

The annual party exemption will apply to the costs associated with virtual festivities in the same way that it would for traditionally held festive parties. Therefore, the cost of providing food, entertainment, equipment and other expenses which may be incurred in hosting a virtual event, will be exempt, subject to the normal conditions of the exemption being met.

New Chair of HMRC Board

HMRC has announced that Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia has been appointed as the new Chair of the HMRC Board. She will replace Mervyn Walker who is stepping down after six years. Her job will be to help guide HMRC through the transformational changes needed to implement its strategy and achieve the goal of becoming a “trusted, modern tax and customs authority”.

PM announces COVID-19 Winter Plan

On Monday 23 November, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan, setting out the end of national restrictions and the government’s plan for managing COVID-19 through the winter.

You can read more information on GOV.UK.

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