The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is expected to be operational by 20 April, enabling employers to access payments to meet payroll obligations at the end of the month.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is reporting that during discussions on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, at the virtual Treasury Select Committee meeting on Wed 8 April,  Jim Harra, Chief Executive of HMRC was asked if he was confident in HMRC’s ability to deliver the job retention project on time, to budget and at scale.

Harra was confident that HMRC would be ready to begin making payments to employers before the end of April.  He added that the system was currently being live tested and is expected to be operational on 20 April to enable employers with payroll obligations at the end of the month to be able to access payments. The challenge according to Harra, is to make the scheme self-service as much as possible for employers, without the need to contact HMRC for help. In anticipation of a surge of enquiries, some 5,500 HMRC staff are expected to be deployed to this work and the CIOT and Institute of Chartered accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) are being updated so that their members are able to provide support to their clients in this.

According to Harra, practical operational guidance will be published this week setting out how employers can get ready to access the scheme when it goes live. It will include instructions on how they can compile their claims in advance.

As Bates Weston are members of both the ICAEW and the CIOT we expect to receive further information on the scheme, as Mr Harra implied in his comments. as soon as we have them, we will update our guidance.

In the meantime, if you need our assistance, please do get in touch.

More details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.

Source: CIOT External Relations Team 8 April 2020