Publish Date

Apr 20, 2020

HMRC Online CJRS Claims Portal is Now Active

A&M Tax Advisor Update

As promised, HMRC’s online claim system for CJRS went live early this morning in the U.K. (20th April 2020). To access it, you need to log on to your company’s online portal with HMRC and go to the PAYE section. You will need these log in details and if the employer does a company tax return, your Company’s UTR number.

Key things to note in addition to the below is that, despite not wanting to overwhelm the system, HMRC want April claims in by Wednesday 22nd April if payment is required this month and you cannot claim more than 2 weeks in advance.

Although there are links to the guidance, calculator and reference material, the actual claim area is not very well signposted once you have logged in. You should make sure you have calculated the full value of your claim before logging into the actual site, as there are no options to save or amend as you go along and the site will time you out after 30 minutes, so you really do not want to have to scrabble around to find the information you need.

In order to do this, you may wish to use Alvarez and Marsal’s spreadsheet, your own spreadsheet or the HMRC online calculator. If using HMRC’s calculator you should note that the calculator can only help with regular salaried staff at the moment although updates have been promised. You also need the employee’s NIC category letter, which is on our spreadsheet but not something HMRC have flagged before. For most employees it is Category A, but there are different categories for those over pension age, apprentices etc.

If using HMRC calculator tool, care is needed over dates, especially the leap year this year, for the claim to be for the correct value. Their tool calculates each person separately and you have to manually note the outcomes, to carry over to the claim itself. If you have more than 1 employee to claim for, it is recommended that you compile a spreadsheet.

The access area once you log on to PAYE Online is not very clear on the site, and the links take you back to the guidance, not to the actual claim form area. The actual claim form is under forms and returns, on the annual returns link.

You need to have everything to hand, and our or your own spreadsheet is going to be invaluable for this, as there are no save buttons and if you have to go back, everything is deleted and you have to start again.

As previously advised, if you have fewer than 100 employees to claim for, each employee needs to be entered manually and separately, although the details needed for each are limited this is still cumbersome, and again, requires a high degree of accuracy given the lack of save functions. You should retain screenshots as you work through, as no confirmatory email is sent at the end, and you will need to retain the reference number for any future queries.  HMRC advice is to not follow up on the claim for at least 10 days after submission, and they aim to pay claims within 6 days. There is an area to enter the company’s bank details, and HMRC system performs an address check of the bank address…