News article

Coronavirus: Claim for wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

21 May 2020


Claim for 80% of your employee's wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Use this online service to claim for your employees' wages using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

To use the scheme, the steps you'll need to take are:

What you'll need

To make a claim, you will need:

  • to have a Government Gateway ID and password – if you do not already have these, you can get an ID and password by registering online
  • to be registered for PAYE online - if you aren't registered, you can sign-up now
  • your UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee's National Insurance number (you will need to search for their number if you do not have it or contact HMRC if your employee does not have a number)
  • each employee's payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amount you're claiming for including:
    • employee wages
    • employer National Insurance Contributions
    • employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

Using an agent to do PAYE online

If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.

If you would like to use an agent, but do not have one authorised to do PAYE online for you, you can do that by accessing your HMRC online services and selecting 'Manage Account'.

You must be enrolled in PAYE online for employers to do this and will need to ask your agent for their agent ID. Your agent can get this from their HMRC online service for agents by selecting 'authorise client'.

You can also use this service to remove authorisation from your agent if you do not want it to continue after they have submitted your claim(s).

If an agent makes a claim on your behalf you will need to tell them which bank account you would like the grant to be paid into. You must only provide bank details where a BACS payment can be accepted.

If you're putting 100 or more employees on furlough

If you're claiming for 100 or more furloughed employees, you'll need to upload a file containing the following for each employee:

  • full name
  • National Insurance number
  • payroll number (optional)
  • furlough start date
  • furlough end date (if known)
  • full amount claimed

You'll need ensure that you:

  • provide only the employee information requested here - if you provide more or less information than required, you may risk delaying your payment and/or be asked to provide the information again
  • 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
  • upload your file as an .xls, .xssx, .csv or .ods

How to claim

You'll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online.

If you do not finish your claim in one session, you can save a draft. You must complete your claim within 7 days of starting it.

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with the online service.

Use the online service to claim for wages


After you've claimed

Once you've claimed, you'll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by Bacs into your bank account within six working days.

You must:

  • keep a copy of all records for six years, including:
    • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
    • the claim reference number for your records
    • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
  • tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
  • pay your employee their wages, if you have not already

You must pay the full amount you are claiming to your employee, even if your company is in administration. If you're not able to do that, you'll need to repay the money back to HMRC. The same applies in relation to employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions you claim regarding your employee. The full amount you claim in respect of these must be paid or you will need to repay the money back to HMRC.

Employers cannot enter into any transaction with the worker which reduces the wages below this amount. This includes any administration charge, fees or other costs in connection with the employment. Where an employee had authorised their employer to make deductions from their salary, these deductions can continue while the employee is furloughed provided that these deductions are not administration charges, fees or other costs in connection with the employment.

When the government ends the scheme

When the government ends the scheme, you must make a decision, depending on your circumstances, as to whether employees can return to their duties. If not, it may be necessary to consider termination of employment (redundancy).

Tax Treatment of the Coronavirus Job Retention Grant

Payments received by a business under the scheme are made to offset these deductible revenue costs. They must therefore be included as income in the business's calculation of its taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes, in accordance with normal principles.

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) are not taxable on grants received under the scheme. Domestic staff are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions on their wages as normal.

How to report grant payments in Real Time Information

Find out how to report Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant payments on Real Time Information submissions.

Contacting HMRC

HMRC is receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts their essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

Do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made the claim and you have not received it in that time.

Use HMRC's digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact HMRC about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if you cannot get the help you need online.


First published 10 April 2020