Action required – changes to the Job Retention Scheme and the latest on SEISS
|I’m writing to you with the latest information about the financial support schemes available to help your clients, as part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs.
This includes the latest on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from this month.
To find out what other financial support may be available for your clients during this time, search ‘find coronavirus financial support’ on GOV.UK.
Thank you for helping your clients prepare to claim for the fifth SEISS grant.
They can now claim any time until 30 September 2021 when the scheme closes. Our latest SEISS updates are also below to support you and your clients.
Calculating turnover figures
You can continue to support your clients by helping them calculate their turnover if they need to do so. The online claims service will ask for their turnover for the year April 2020 to April 2021 (the ‘pandemic year’) and the tax year 2019-20 (the ‘reference period’) – or the tax year 2018-19 if 2019-20 was not a normal year for their business.
Further details on how to calculate turnover can be found on GOV.UK by searching ‘SEISS’ and on YouTube by searching ‘HMRC SEISS’.
Making a claim
If your clients claim the fifth SEISS grant, they must make the claim themselves, although they can ask you, a friend or family to help them prepare their claim.
We understand that some of your clients may feel more comfortable with you making the claim on their behalf, especially if they require extra digital support. However, if you make a claim on their behalf, this will trigger fraud alerts, cause delay or end in the claim being rejected, so your clients must make the claim themselves.
Extra help is available if your clients need it. Search ‘Get help from HMRC if you need extra support’ on GOV.UK for more.
A SEISS ‘how to’ video, specifically for you as an agent, provides screenshots of the claims service to help you support your clients – search ‘HMRC SEISS – supporting your clients’ on YouTube.
We’re contacting customers for further checks
As part of our ongoing compliance activity, we’ve contacted some customers who started trading in 2019-20 and also claimed the fourth SEISS grant, to confirm their identity and business activity.
These customers will not be able to make a claim for the fifth SEISS grant (the online claims service will not be open to them) until they respond to us, providing the information we ask for to verify their identity.
If your clients have been contacted by HMRC about this, please encourage them to get in touch with us as soon as possible to provide the necessary documents, so that if they are eligible, they can claim the fifth SEISS grant.
If you or your clients have any doubts about whether contact is from HMRC, please search ‘HMRC trusted contacts’ on GOV.UK to confirm that the letter is genuine.
Thank you if you have submitted your clients’ July furlough claims already. If you haven’t submitted them yet, you must do so by the deadline of Monday 16 August.
For July, employers can claim 70% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month. They’ll need to pay the difference, so that they continue to pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages in total for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 a month including their contribution.
What you or your clients need to do now
From 1 August to 30 September (when the scheme closes), the UK Government will pay 60% of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will need to continue to pay the difference, so that they pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages in total for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 a month including their contribution.
The UK Government’s Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme continues to provide financial support to small and medium-sized employers.
If your client has fewer than 250 employees, and if they’ve paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees for coronavirus-related sickness absence or self-isolation, they could be eligible for support.
The repayment can cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP. For more information on eligibility and how to make a claim search ‘check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay’ on GOV.UK.
We are urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. We continue to see high numbers of fraudsters calling, emailing or texting customers claiming to be from HMRC.
If in doubt, we advise you not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact HMRC straight away and to search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.
The National Cyber Security Centre has a helpful guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cyber crime, which you can find by searching ‘Cyber Aware’.
Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary – HMRC
Originally published by HMRC