Did you put any staff on furlough? Are they still employed and will continue in their roles once the scheme ends on 31st October?

The government are rewarding employers who sustained the employment of any staff members claimed for under the Job Retention Scheme, so long as they keep them in their jobs until at least 31 January 2021.

This bonus is for your business and it will be available to claim between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. Keep an eye out for the claim service opening, we will provide an update when further information is released.

Am I eligible for the Job Retention Bonus?

You must have made an eligible claim through the Job Retention Scheme to begin with. So long as your employee was eligible for this, you can most likely claim for the bonus.

You can also claim the bonus should you claim for an employee through the Job Support Scheme.

Employees you can claim for

You can claim for employees so long as they meet the following:

– An eligible claim was made for them under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

– Their employment continued from the end of the claim period of your last Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim until at least 31 January 2021

– They are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31 January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement)

– They paid enough in each relevant tax month and enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold

Employees who have been transferred to you under TUPE or due to a change in ownership

You may be able to claim the bonus for employees of a previous business who were transferred to you if:

– TUPE rules applied when the employee was transferred

– The PAYE business succession rules applied

– The employees were associated with the transfer of a business from the liquidator of a company in compulsory liquidation where TUPE would have applied if the company was not in compulsory liquidation

You can only claim for these employees if they were transferred to you before the Job Retention Scheme closed on 31 October 2020. You must have furloughed them and successfully claimed under the JRS before this date.

The minimum income threshold

To be eligible for the bonus you must ensure your employees are paid at least the minimum income threshold. This means you must be paying your employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout these tax months:

– 6 November to 5 December 2020

– 6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021

– 6 January to 5 February 2021

You must pay your employee at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any amount) in each of the relevant tax months.

The minimum income threshold criteria apply regardless of:

– how often you pay your employees

– any circumstances that may have reduced your employee’s pay in the relevant tax periods, such as being on statutory leave or unpaid leave

Payments included in the minimum income threshold

Payments that are included are those recorded as taxable pay. This will be reported to HMRC as a single figure through Full Payment Submissions via Real Time Information (RTI).

If you are making redundancies

If you make redundancies, you must comply with the normal rules for redundancy, which include using fair redundancy criteria. These rules apply even if this means that fewer of your employees are eligible for the Job Retention Bonus.

Claiming your Job Retention Bonus

The online claim service opens on 31 January 2021, so be sure to check back here for the right link. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to prepare:

– Report all payments made to your employee between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021 to HMRC through Full Payment Submissions via Real Time Information (RTI)

– File your PAYE accurately and on time under RTI, reporting for all employees between 6 April 2020 and 5 February 2021

– Be enrolled for PAYE online

– Ensure your payroll is up to date and report the leaving date for any employees that stop working for your before the end of the pay period that they leave within

– Comply with all request made to you by HMRC. Provide them with any employee data for past Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

Claiming the Job Retention Bonus through your agent

If you are using an authorised agent to do your PAYE online they will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus on your behalf.

We will be providing further guidance on this when the information is available by the end of January 2021.

Tax treatment of your Bonus

You must include payments you receive under the scheme as income when you calculate your taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Businesses can deduct employment costs as normal when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Individuals with employees that are not employed as part of a business (such as nannies or other domestic staff) will not have to pay tax on grants received under the scheme.

The end of the scheme

You will have until 31 March 2021 to make a Job Retention Bonus claim after which the scheme will close. No further claims will be accepted after this date.

You will not be able to claim until 15 February 2021 and this guidance will be updated by the end of January 2021 with details on how to access the online claim service.

Our team are here to help. If you need any further advice on the Job Retention Bonus or any other coronavirus support funding you are looking to acquire, speak to our team.

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