August 7, 2020: Wheelers Words

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August 7, 2020 | COVID-19: Job Retention Bonus and SEISS updates

Job Retention Bonus

HMRC have released further information on the Job Retention Bonus. The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off‑payment to employers of £1,000 for each eligible furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. To be eligible employers will be able to claim for employees who meet the following:

  • were furloughed and had a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim submitted for them that meets all relevant eligibility criteria for the scheme
  • have been continuously employed by the relevant employer from the time of the employer’s most recent claim for that employee until at least 31 January 2021
  • have been paid an average of at least £520 a month between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (a total of at least £1,560 across the 3 months). The employee does not have to be paid £520 in each month, but must have received some earnings in each of the three calendar months that have been paid and reported to HMRC via RTI
  • have up-to-date RTI records for the period to the end of January
  • are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period, that started before 1 February 2021, for the employer making a claim

Employers can claim the Job Retention Bonus for all employees who meet the above criteria, including office holders, company directors and agency workers, including those employed by umbrella companies.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31 January has been received.

 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - Second grant 

HMRC have extended the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) scheme so that eligible individuals are able to claim a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

HMRC will work out your eligibility the same way as the first grant. If you make a claim for the second grant you will have to confirm your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 (see guidance below).

This grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - Adversely affected

Your trade must have been adversely affected to claim the SEISS grant. For the second grant it must have been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020. If you believe you do not meet the ‘adversely affected’ requirement for either the first or second grant and have claimed the grant, you should notify HMRC that you have claimed the grant in error. See the next section for further details. Below is an HMRC extract including some examples of ‘adversely affected’:

 

Scenario 1

A builder worked on a very small building site and was still able to go to work throughout the pandemic as she was able to work within the social distancing rules.

Adversely affected

Is the condition met?

First grant

No

Second grant

No

 

Reason

As the builder’s trade was not adversely affected by coronavirus she is not eligible to claim either grant.

Scenario 2

A builder was unable to find work from March 2020 to September 2020 because of the government restrictions on building sites and the economic impact of the pandemic on the companies she worked for.

Adversely affected

Is the condition met?

First grant

Yes

Second grant

Yes

 

Reason

As the builder’s business was adversely affected by coronavirus before and, on or after 14 July 2020, she was eligible to claim the first grant, and is also eligible to claim the second grant.

Scenario 3

A builder worked on short-term contracts on different building sites. She only had half the work she would normally have in April 2020 and May 2020 because some of the building sites were closed. She was able to work as normal from June 2020 because the building sites reopened.

Adversely affected

Is the condition met?

First grant

Yes

Second grant

Yes

 

Reason

As the builder’s business was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 she was eligible to claim the first grant. However, her business was not adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020 so she is not eligible to claim the second grant.

Scenario 4

A builder was able to work as normal from February 2020 to August 2020 because she works on small house extensions which are completely outdoors. However, she caught coronavirus in August 2020, meaning she was unable to work for 6 weeks while she recovered.

Adversely affected

Is the condition met?

First grant

No

Second grant

Yes

 

Reason

As the builder was able to work as normal and not adversely affected until after 14 July 2020 she was not eligible to claim the first grant. Her business was adversely affected by coronavirus in August 2020 when she was unable to work for 6 weeks so she is eligible to claim the second grant.

Scenario 5

A shop owner closed his shop from March 2020 to 14 June 2020. He reopened his shop on 15 June 2020, but the number of customers he could serve was lower because of the social distancing rules. He also had increased costs due to buying protective equipment.

Adversely affected

Is the condition met?

First grant

Yes

Second grant

Yes

 

Reason

As the shop was closed his business was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 and he was eligible to claim the first grant. His business was also adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 because the number of customers were significantly lower and increased costs for protective equipment he is also eligible to claim the second grant.

Scenario 6

A builder was due to start a 3-month project building a house extension in August 2020. However, this contract was cancelled on 15 April 2020 because the owner of the house had been impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The builder incurred additional costs to find new work. From June 2020 onwards, after building sites opened, she was able to work as normal.

Adversely affected

Is the condition met?

First grant

Yes

Second grant

No

 

Reason

As the builder’s contract was cancelled in April 2020, she was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 she was eligible to claim the first grant. She resumed work as normal from June 2020 and was able to find other work. Her business was not adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, so she is not eligible to claim the second grant.

 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - Claimed in error? 

If you have claimed the grant when you were not eligible or have received more than HMRC said you were entitled to you must tell HMRC. The deadlines for reporting to HMRC depend when you received the grant. If you received the grant before 22 July 2020 you must tell them on or before 20 October 2020, if you received the grant on or after 22 July 2020 you must tell them within 90 days of receiving the grant. If you do not report it to HMRC you may have to pay a penalty.

You can also tell HMRC if you want to voluntarily pay back some or all of the grant you received. This can be done at any time.