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HMRC acknowledges potential delays to CJRS claims due to PAYE enrolment

8 December 2020: HMRC is not suspending activation codes for PAYE services in the latest iteration of the CJRS, but has confirmed that reasonable excuse provisions may apply if a claim is delayed pending receipt of a code.

ICAEW’s Tax Faculty asked HMRC to consider temporarily suspending the need for an activation code (PIN in the post) when enrolling for PAYE services, to facilitate employers who need to enrol to make a first claim for a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant or to appoint an agent to do so on their behalf.

Although HMRC made this easement when the CJRS was first launched, it has decided not to repeat this. HMRC has, however, said that where an employer or their agent misses a claim deadline, as a result of waiting for an activation code, HMRC would deal with the failure under reasonable excuse provisions.

HMRC’s full response is as follows:

“When we launched CJRS in April we temporarily suspended the PIN in the post process for PAYE online enrolment to allow customers that were not enrolled to do so quickly.

“We did consider whether it was appropriate to do the same for the CJRS as extended given that there are employers claiming for the first time and that there is now a 14-day deadline for making claim after end of the month the claim relates to.

“However, on balance we have decided to retain the current process. The number of new employers is relatively small, and we are confident that there is enough time for the vast majority of customers to set up their PAYE online in time to claim.

“Where an employer or their agent misses a deadline to claim as a result of waiting for their enrolment details this is something that HMRC would deal with under our reasonable excuse provisions.”