First of all, let me get my disclaimer in I did not draft this and had no direct input in its design.
Last night whilst watching episode 2 of the Deadwater Fell box set into my inbox at 7:48pm comes the very latest email from HMRC setting out how the CJRS claims will be made and a further change in the employee eligibility criteria. Why do they do this at 7:48 at night? Personally, I was expecting it at about 6:00pm on Friday based on past evidence so I suppose one night’s lost sleep is better than a whole weekend.
Without wishing to go into great detail because that’s all available the most obvious shock, well to me at least and judging by comments made afterwards to many accountants and business owners, was that for payrolls of less than 100 employees each employee’s name national insurance number and claim period and amount claimed will have to entered manually into the new portal.
As I said, don’t blame me. What we don’t yet know is if the resultant claim will be held up either fully or in part should a typing error in the name or NIC number entry be made. Copy and Paste could be a viable option but as we all know that is also fraught with error possibilities including the copying of additional spaces at the end of the target text.
The portal will be available for Monday 20th and we are advised that the resultant funds will be in banks within 4 to 6 days but with the sheer volume of entries to be made and the background checking to be done we can only hope that this timescale doesn’t prove to be overoptimistic.
So apart from the information about each employee and the quantum of the claim before you get going entering data you will also need the following about your client:
- The bank account number and sort code for the recipient
- The name and contact phone number for HMRC should they have any questions
- The client’s UTR (Personal, Partnership or LTD) OR the Company Registration Number
Now you may think I was being flippant about typing errors when entering names and NIC numbers but in all honesty if errors are made and claims are held up it should be easy to put right and have the funds released whether that release is in sufficient time to save a cash starved business is another issue BUT make a mistake with an account number and the money goes into the wrong account, think on that.
Any accountant who is going to make the claims on behalf of their clients MUST make sure they have the correct authorisations in place, have all the information concerning furloughed staff confirmed by the client in advance of any claim being made and be provided with the correct bank details and if you already have bank information these should be verified by the client before a claim is made.
Apart for those of us who have been involved with making applications for loan funding this will be the first direct involvement we have in raising funds for our clients and we must not get it wrong simply because we didn’t do the necessary due diligence.