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Small Businesses: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN HL15317, tabled on 27 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support small businesses who have encountered payroll processing issues as a result of changes to COVID-19 support programmes.

Answered on

29 April 2021

HMRC recognise that some employers will have complex and varied payroll runs, perhaps needing to claim for some staff who are paid weekly and some who are paid monthly.

Employers are required to take reasonable care to make an accurate claim within the deadline (which extends to 14 days after the month for which claims are being made) and should make their claims on time with the most accurate information available on the circumstances of their employees. HMRC expect employers to take all reasonable steps to amend their processes to be able to claim on time.

Employers can claim before, during or after they process their payroll as long as the claim is submitted by the relevant claim deadline.  Claims cannot be submitted more than 14 days before the claim period end date.

Employers can submit an initial claim and amend it later provided the initial claim is made on time and any amendments are made within 28 days after the end of the month. If the 28th day in a particular month falls on a non-working day, the deadline will be the next working day.

However, if they are still unable to meet the deadline, they should contact HMRC as soon as they are ready to claim, and HMRC may consider their reasonable excuse for missing the deadline. HMRC have published examples of reasonable excuses but in principle these are circumstances that stopped someone from fulfilling an obligation that they took reasonable care to meet.

Employers will not be able to submit a claim after the 14-day deadline has passed unless they have a reasonable excuse, taken reasonable care to try to claim on time and claimed without delay as soon as they were able to. Further information can be found at the COVID-19 coronavirus job retention scheme pages on GOV.UK.

Employers can also sign up to receive regular email updates from HMRC on their COVID-19 schemes, and thousands of people have joined live HMRC webinars which offer more support on changes to the CJRS and how they affect employers.

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