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COVID-19 Government Support News: 28th June 2021

COVID-19 Government Support News: 28th June 2021
28 Jun 2021
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COVID-19 Government Support News: 28th June 2021

Please note that this update is correct as of the 28th June 2021. If you need any help or have any questions on the below please contact us on 01256 883 012.

The Furlough Scheme and Employee Travel – “Temporary Workplaces” and COVID-19

Several professional bodies have requested clarification from HMRC concerning their interpretation of the “temporary workplace” rules where employees have had their posting extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HMRC has confirmed that its approach remains unchanged. Under the 24-month rule, employees who are seconded to a temporary workplace for no more than 24 months of “continuous work” are entitled to tax relief on their travel expenses. However, if it becomes apparent that the placement at the temporary workplace will go on for longer than 24 months then the travel (and subsistence) to that workplace will not qualify for relief.

This means that employees working at a temporary workplace and then furloughed will no longer be entitled to claim tax relief on their remaining time at the temporary workplace if the furloughed time takes them over 24 months of “continuous work”.

Example

An employee was due to work at a temporary workplace for 21 months but say three months after the secondment started they were placed on furlough for five months.

When they return to the temporary workplace for 18 months to complete the 21 months of work, they are no longer entitled to claim relief for business travel and, where reimbursed by the employer, the amounts would be taxable emoluments. This is because it was known that the initial three months of work, the five months of furlough and the 19 months of work would together be greater than 24 months.

HMRC have confirmed that: “The government’s position remains that any period of furlough or working from home, whilst attending a temporary workplace, will be considered a period of continuous work.”

Please talk to us if you need anything clarifying, we are here to help.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Templates

The templates to use when claiming for 16 or more employees have been updated. The guidance for uploading these templates has also been updated.

If you are claiming on or after 1 July 2020 for 16 or more employees, you will need to upload a file containing the following information for each employee:

  • full name
  • National Insurance number (or payroll reference number if you do not have this)
  • payroll reference number (sometimes called a pay identify or staff number)
  • furlough start and end date (using the format DD/MM/YYYY)
  • full amount claimed (pounds and pence)
  • normal hours (using decimals, for example 7.5)
  • actual hours worked (using decimals)
  • furloughed hours (using decimals)
  • if they have returned from statutory leave and you then put them on furlough

You must upload the template in .xlsx or .csv format when you claim. If you already have the claim forms saved in a different format (such as .xls or .ods), you must save them again as .xlsx or .csv files. The other formats are no longer accepted.

Your template may be rejected if you do not give the information in the right format. If your template is rejected, you will see a message on the screen and your claim will not be processed.

You’ll need to make sure you:

  • provide only the employee information requested here - you might be asked again, or your template may be rejected
  • submit one line per employee for the whole period
  • do not break up the calculation into multiple periods within the claim
  • do not split data by contract type (for example, those paid weekly and monthly should be claimed for together)
  • do not provide more or less columns than needed
  • upload your file as a .xlsx or .csv (or you can save existing .xls or .ods file types as .xlsx or .csv before uploading them)

If we are submitting your claims we will of course upload your information in the new format.

Please click here to download a template if you're claiming for 16 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

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