CJRS - Guidance update

20 November 2020

Claims made in relation to the extension to the CJRS have a tighter deadline this time around, with claimants being required to submit claims no later than 14 days after the end of the period that they are claiming for. Payroll professionals have been very vocal about the fact that this would be incredibly tight and, in some cases, unachievable.

In response to this, HMRC has advised that where a claimant has a reasonable excuse as to why the deadline has not been met, they will still consider the claim. Guidance has been updated to reflect reasons that will be accepted which include: 

  • The claimant’s partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline 

  • The claimant had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented them from dealing with their claim 

  • The claimant had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus related illnesses, which prevented them from making your claim (and no one else could claim on their behalf) 

  • A period of self-isolation prevented the claimant from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim on their behalf) 

  • The claimant’s computer or software failed just before or while they were preparing your online claim 

  • Service issues with HMRC online services prevented the claimant from making your claim 

  • A fire, flood or theft prevented the claimant from making your claim 

  • Postal delays that could not have been predicted prevented the claimant from making their claim 

  • Delays related to a disability the claimant has prevented them from making your claim 

  • A HMRC error prevented the claimant from making your claim 

However, HMRC also advises that: 

“HMRC will not consider reasonable excuses in advance of a claim deadline” 

Meaning that claimants will have to advise of their reasons after the 14 days have passed. 

Another conditional change imposed within the extension is that HMRC will be publishing the details of any employer who claims via the extended CJRS. This includes the employer’s full name, company registration number and an indication of the value of claims. Guidance has also been updated within this section to clarify the above. HMRC will also be improving the information available to employees by including details of claims made for them, for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, in their  Personal Tax Account on GOV.UK 

Changes have also been amended to the wording within the CJRS calculator in regard to which reference period to use for those who were employed on or after 20 March 2020, so that they now mirror that of the guidance. Previously, the calculator asked the user “ What is the last payment received on or before the 30 October 2020?” with the detailed description of the question of “  This is the latest gross payment that was due on or before 30 October, before deductions” which would give you a different outcome to that which is written in the guidance. HMRC has confirmed that this has now been amended within the calculator, which now asks “What was the employee paid in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020?”, to ensure consistency. 


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