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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - I can't claim

Can't claim for any of my payroll clients

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"You are not eligible to make a claim

The employer is registered for PAYE online, but our records show that on 19 March 2020 there were no employees on the payroll. Furloughed employees must have been on the employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020 to be eligible for this scheme."

I get this message for annual clients who I submited annual payroll in late March 2020. I also got this message for a client who I submitted payroll monthly but just after the calendar month end.

Replies (35)

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By tltodman
20th Apr 2020 11:20

Try phoning them - apparently you can claim by phone 0800 024 1222 option 1 for CJRS

Thanks (3)
David Ross
By davidross
20th Apr 2020 11:21

We are having the same with many clients. Actually got through to HMRC on the phone but they have no clue. They did process a claim over the phone (took 35 minutes).

Thanks (1)
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By philaccountant
20th Apr 2020 11:21

We're having a similar issue with some of our clients. Seems ridiculous to be holding up these claims for annual salaries over RTI submission dates. A lot of our Directors have annual payroll submissions going back years, and always on time!

Looks like we're going to be spending a lot of time on the phone to HMRC arguing their cause...

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By Malcolm071159
20th Apr 2020 11:26

I have been having problems with not been able to access the service as I am not authorised even though the clients involved are show on my list of clients on the PAYE service.

I'm also getting a problem on payrolls for both weekly and monthly staff when I enter the number of staff being furloughed. Quite often I am getting the message that the number exceeds those for whom PAYE is being operated.

Has anyone else had these problems and do they have any suggestions as to how to solve them. The problem relates to 12 clients and I don't really want to spend 30 minutes per client on the phone to the Revenue to resolve this.

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Replying to Malcolm071159:
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By coulsonl
20th Apr 2020 11:36

I also got the error about the number of furloughed staff exceeding the number on the payroll, this rectified itself when i logged out and went back in. I hope it works for you too.

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By petersaxton
20th Apr 2020 11:41

Thanks
I phoned the number and both times they answered but they couldn't hear me!

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
20th Apr 2020 11:45

@Peter, one reading of the legislation was that they are probably not eligible anyway as no RTI return was made by 19th March.

if HMRC are however accepting these claims over the phone that is interesting.

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By petersaxton
20th Apr 2020 11:50

I could see some logic in that if I hadn't got exactly the same message for an employer who submits a monthly payroll.

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bike
By FirstTab
20th Apr 2020 12:03

Same problem.

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By andrew1211
20th Apr 2020 16:43

Following....

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By petersaxton
21st Apr 2020 15:40

I managed to get through on webchat.
They said that the online form is not suitable for director's annual payroll.
They said somebody would call or email me within 48 hours.

Thanks (1)
Replying to petersaxton:
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By philaccountant
21st Apr 2020 16:56

We've had a similar response on the phone to HMRC. Expecting a call back.

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Replying to philaccountant:
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By gps999
23rd Apr 2020 17:35

Hi
Did you get a call back?
Many Thanks
Grant

Thanks (0)
Replying to petersaxton:
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By gps999
23rd Apr 2020 17:34

Hi
Did you get a call back?
Many Thanks
Grant

Thanks (0)
Replying to gps999:
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By philaccountant
24th Apr 2020 09:15

Still waiting. Going to call again today. 48 hr promise was missed but they're very busy so I'm not surprised.

Thanks (1)
Replying to gps999:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 09:21

gps999 wrote:

Hi
Did you get a call back?
Many Thanks
Grant


no
Thanks (0)
Replying to gps999:
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By philaccountant
24th Apr 2020 11:25

For those that are interested. We've just had a call back from HMRC.
1) A lot of people are phoning them about this issue.
2) As it stands they can't do anything, the system can't accept the claims.
3) They are looking into it and there was talk of them possibly setting up some sort of separate system.
4) It's been kicked further up the chain apparently.

So as it stands it won't work, if the RTI submission was made in late March or early April after the cut off it won't be processed. But they may be taking some action on this and it sounds from their response like this was an unintended consequence of the rules.

Whether that means anything will actually happen and, if it does, it will happen in a timely manner is anyone's guess.

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Replying to philaccountant:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 11:45

I saw on twitter that people were saying how wonderful the developers have been for getting the form set up so quickly. However, whoever was involved in the design has failed to understand what was needed.

Thanks (1)
By petersaxton
21st Apr 2020 17:37

There was one thing that I was told that I didnt know: You can only claim up to 14 days before you are going to run a payroll.
This would mean that you do one of the following:
(a) Don't claim until February/March 2021 if you are only running a payroll In March 2021,
(b) Claim in June 2020 for March - June 2020 and run a payroll in June 2020, or
(c) Claim now for March and April 2020 and run a payroll in April 2020, claim in May 2020 for May 2020 and run a payroll in May 2020 and claim in June 2020 and run a payroll in June 2020.
I will check with clients what they prefer. Obviously I will charge more for more claims and payrolls.
This is without considering the scheme being extended beyond June!

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By Wanderer
24th Apr 2020 11:49

This isn't a system fault.
This isn't anything to do with HMRC.
This is what the law says.
HMRC can't do anything unless the law is changed.

Congratulations to HMRC for designing a system that applies the law.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Wanderer:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 13:07

Wanderer wrote:

This isn't a system fault.
This isn't anything to do with HMRC.
This is what the law says.
HMRC can't do anything unless the law is changed.

Congratulations to HMRC for designing a system that applies the law.


What is the law that says that annual pay directors can't be furloughed and receive 80% of their pay?
The answer is that there is no such law.
The claim form has been badly designed.
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Replying to petersaxton:
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By Wanderer
24th Apr 2020 13:16

petersaxton wrote:

What is the law that says that annual pay directors can't be furloughed and receive 80% of their pay?
The answer is that there is no such law.
The claim form has been badly designed.

No Peter, the answer and the law is here:-
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...

Congratulations to HMRC for designing a system that applies the law.

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David Ross
By davidross
24th Apr 2020 12:12

Could someone please supply a link to the legislation? Is it primary legislation (requiring an Act and the Queen's signature) or is the implementation delegated to ministers?

I guess the latter, since they already changed the date, and in that case it would be east to unlock

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Replying to davidross:
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By Wanderer
24th Apr 2020 12:16
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Replying to Wanderer:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 13:20

Thanks for that.
I still think annual pay employers are still entitled to their furlough pay.

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Replying to petersaxton:
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By Wanderer
24th Apr 2020 13:26

Depends when they did their pay and RTI for 2019/2020.
On or before 19 March 2020 then yes.
20 March 2020 on then no.

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Replying to Wanderer:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 14:10

Do you know if HMRC have any logical reason to not allow the furloughing of annual pay employees if they dont submit their annual pay until after 19 March 2020?

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Replying to petersaxton:
David Ross
By davidross
24th Apr 2020 14:18

The problem seems to be specific to new schemes and new employees and, as HMRC just told me, it is to stop people inventing employments to fraudulently claim.

We have had (after teething problems) no problem claiming where we have shown Nil under RTI all year then annual pay. We have a problem where a new employee joined in March and where we had a new scheme for which we had not happened to have filed any RTIs yet.

In the latter case we were victims of circumstances. The company was formed in June 2019 and we did not rush to register a scheme (director only) as we could expect to clean this up at the end of the Tax Year. This we did, we got the references before 19 March but could not get agent authority in place before then. Even if we had, I probably would not have filed the RTI until the end of the month and could not have anticipated the rules of the furlough scheme.

In an ideal work the legislation would allow HMRC discretion in genuine cases, but I suppose HMG thinks this would stretch resources too far.

Mind you .... there must be some over-ride to account for merged schemes, which are provided for in the rules, so perhaps Martin Lewis can get us some wriggle room?

Thanks (2)
Replying to davidross:
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By Wanderer
24th Apr 2020 14:24

davidross wrote:

We have had (after teething problems) no problem claiming where we have shown Nil under RTI all year then annual pay.

Then you have mis-claimed (if pay in 2019/2020 and RTI showing pay was 20/03/2020 or later) and if I was in that position I would consider advising my client and PI insurers of this.

Just because people manage to get claims 'through the system' doesn't make them correct.

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Replying to davidross:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 14:39

My clients have had annual pay payrolls for years and I'm not able to claim the grant.

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Replying to petersaxton:
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By Matrix
24th Apr 2020 14:25

No it was purely an oversight due to rushing, it should just have one additional rule that for annual schemes a submission had to be made for the 2018-19 tax year.

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Replying to petersaxton:
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By Wanderer
24th Apr 2020 14:28

petersaxton wrote:

Do you know if HMRC have any logical reason to not allow the furloughing of annual pay employees if they dont submit their annual pay until after 19 March 2020?

Well HMRC's reason is because the law says that. The draftsman's reason was probably to help avoid abuse.
And furloughing IS allowed in these circumstances. What's not allowed is a claim under the CJRS.
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Replying to Wanderer:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 14:42

So you cannot come up with any logical reason why HMRC would not want employers with an annual pay scheme to be able to claim the 80%.

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Replying to petersaxton:
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By Wanderer
24th Apr 2020 15:03

petersaxton wrote:

So you cannot come up with any logical reason why HMRC would not want employers with an annual pay scheme to be able to claim the 80%.

Doubt they would have even considered it. It's not within their gift to decide one way or the other. Fortunately our laws are not made by HMRC.
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Replying to Wanderer:
By petersaxton
24th Apr 2020 15:18

So you dont think HMRC were even advising the government on any of this?
I think HMRC were advising the government but they simply forgot about annual pay directors.

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