The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been set-up by the Government to enable companies to claim up to 80% of an employee’s wages plus any National Insurance or pension contributions during the coronavirus crisis. However, many companies have been left wondering what impact this new scheme might have on their ability to claim Employment Allowance (EA).
In order to provide clarity to the situation, HMRC have recently confirmed that the rules for claiming and applying for EA WILL NOT change as a result of a claim under the new CJRS for Class 1 National Insurance (NI) costs.
Those employers who are eligible can continue to utilise the EA scheme to pay a reduced amount of NIC until their allowance runs out or until the end of the tax year, whichever is soonest. (Currently the employment allowance scheme enables eligible employers to reduce their annual NI liability by up to £4,000). Eligibility applies to a business or charity where their NI liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year.
In order to calculate how much National Insurance Contributions an employer can claim back through the scheme, they simply need to subtract any EA that is used in a specific pay period. If the employer finds that the amount of EA being claimed will not cover the total employer NIC which is due, then grants are available.
If an employer chooses to delay their EA claim and as such they have employment allowance that is unused at the end of a tax year, then they can use it to reduce other tax costs.
It is important to note that any business needs to make sure they are not receiving relief for the same costs twice, as this can be considered as fraud and may result in claims being investigated. This is where it is best to consult with full qualified accountant who will be able to provide advice, guidance and support for such matters.
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