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Job Retention Scheme application tips

HMRC opens applications for the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) at 8am today, but employers must make sure that their claims are correct and are accurate.

Those that don’t risk being seen as fraudulent, says London tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.

Partner Nimesh Shah says: “The Government and HMRC are very concerned about fraudulent JRS claims, and the rules and system have been designed to safeguard against this as far as possible."

He adds: “The Government has been vocal that it can and will audit employers and can claw back grants from fraudulent claims. Errors with applications are inevitable, given the complexity associated with this untested scheme, and it’s hoped that HMRC will recognise the difference between innocent and deliberate behaviour, but claimants must make sure that their application is as accurate as it can be.”

The company has put together its top tips for making an application:

1. Businesses need to make sure that they follow correct legal process when furloughing an employee, as it is strictly a change to their employment contact.

2. Careful calculations are required in relation to holiday pay, maternity pay, sick pay, pensions and salary sacrifice as these can give rise to anomalies.

3. The grant can only be paid into the UK bank account of employer making the claim – this is an issue if an agent normally handles a company’s payroll or for an overseas business that does not have a UK bank account.

4. When making the application, all the information must be submitted at once i.e. there is no option to save and return to the form later.  In addition, amendments cannot be made to the form after submission, so it’s important that the application is submitted fully and accurately at the first attempt.

5. HMRC will not provide any e-mail confirmation for submission and the employer should print the submission record and make a note of the reference number.

With almost 9 million workers being placed on furlough and the scheme recently extended until the end of June, the total cost is expected to be in excess of £50 billion.

For a list of what you'll need to submit your claim, click here.

For guidance on how to make a claim, including how to calculate the correct amount, click here.

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