Key Changes to CJRS and an Update for the Self-Employed and Farmers

Dear Residents and Business Owners,

I hope this email finds you well.

I am writing to update you about key changes to the cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which I know will be a huge relief to many hard-working Rutland and Melton residents and their employers.

Additionally, several self-employed residents have recently been in touch seeking clarification on the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). 

I am proud of the support the Government has thus far provided to our communities, especially SEISS – which my colleagues and I lobbied Ministers about for three weeks.

In this email, I will update you on the processes and timescale of the scheme, cover important deadlines for Self-Assessment Tax Returns to ensure eligibility for the scheme and provide clarifications about farmers claiming averaging relief.

I remain completely committed to supporting you in whatever way my role as your MP allows, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

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Key Changes to the  CJRS Cut-Off Date

Since the Government announced our unprecedented package of measures to support individuals and businesses, I am pleased that the vast majority of Rutland and Melton residents can now focus on staying healthy – as opposed to worrying about putting food on their table or meeting rental payments at this difficult time.

However, I understand that the initial cut-off date of February 28th 2020 meant that a number of residents were unable to claim support via CJRS through no fault of their own.

Myself and a number of my colleagues have been raising this with Ministers frequently and I am immensely relieved that following a review of the delivery system, the eligibility date has been extended to March 19th 2020 (the day before the Scheme was announced).

This means employers can claim for furloughed employees that were on their PAY-E payroll on or before March 19th 2020.

I welcome that this change makes the Scheme more generous while keeping the substantial fraud risk under control.


SEISS Processes and Timescale

HMRC are working night and day to get the SEISS system up and running, but as I hope you understand, creating a new system on such a vast scale alongside other key schemes (e.g. the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay rebate for employers) is extremely operationally challenging, so thank you for your patience.

I welcome that the Government and HMRC are making this scheme as easy as possible for self-employed people to claim from. Eligible individuals will be contacted directly by HMRC by mid-May and asked to fill out a simple online form.

Once HMRC has received your claim and your grant is approved, they will contact you to tell you how much you will get and payment details.

If you are unable to claim online, I have been assured by Ministers that an alternative claiming mechanism will be made available. I will provide an update as soon as I have one, but am reassured by Minister’s commitment to investigate any possible solution.

HMRC will make payments by early June 2020, and each eligible individual will get grants paid directly into their account in one instalment.



Eligible individuals will only be able to claim using the GOV.UK online service. So, if you get a call, text or email claiming to be from HMRC offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you too click on a link or give personal information, it is a scam.


Deadline for the Self-Assessment Tax returns 2018-2019 and SEISS

If you are self-employed and have not returned your Self-Assessment Tax Return for the year 2018-2019, you must do this by 23rd April 2020, or you will not be able to receive support through SEISS.

This is because HMRC will use data on the 2018-2019 tax returns already submitted to identify those eligible, but they will review any late returns filed before the April 23rd. This grace period allows more people to receive support through this scheme.

It is important to note that if you amend a submitted return after 26th March 2020, any changes will not be considered when working out your eligibility or amount of the grant.

If you submit your tax return for the 2018-2019 financial year but have not submitted Self-Assessment Tax Returns for all the last 3 financial years you may still be eligible for support. HMRC will work out your average trading profit based on continuous periods of self-employment, which will be either: the tax years 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019, or the tax year 2018 to 2019 only (even if you were self-employed in the tax year 2016to 2017).


Clarifications for Farmers claiming Famer’s Averaging Relief

I am immensely proud that Rutland and Melton’s farmers continue to feed the nation and I have been in daily contact with Ministers to ensure our farmers get the support they deserve – including recognition as key workers. I hope to be able to update you shortly.

For self-employed farmers claiming farmer’s averaging relief, HMRC will use the amount of profit prior to the impact of the claims to work out how much of the grant they will receive and determine eligibility.

LTD Company Directors and Furlough

I am pleased that LTD company directors can participate in the support we have announced and will receive 80% of their PAY-E income, up to £2,500 a month like other employees while furloughed.

However, unlike normal employees, company directors owe duties to their company that are set out in the Companies Act 2006. In this case, where furloughed, directors need to carry out duties to fulfil their statutory obligations to the company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose. For example; they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.

It remains that non-director furloughed employees may not carry out any work for their employer whilst on furlough.

It is, however, the case that LTD company directors can only claim for PAYE earnings and not dividends through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

I understand that this is disappointing to many hard-working directors, but I should explain that it is because payments through the scheme are taxed as normal income would be, and dividends are subject to different tax structures.

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