Government scheme "deliberately" excludes thousands from support

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Government scheme "deliberately" excludes thousands from support

An accountant has warned that the Government has deliberately excluded thousands of directors from benefiting from its furlough scheme.

Annual payroll schemes are used where an employee (typically a director) would be paid once a year and therefore only need to submit one payroll report (FPS) to HMRC annually rather than one per month, thereby reducing the admin burden and payroll cost for the director.

 But accountants at JRB Accountancy have today been notified that directors on annual payroll schemes cannot apply for furlough payments on the basis that their payroll would normally be processed on 31st March or 5th April, and this falls after HMRC’s furlough deadline of submitting a Real Time Information (RTI) report by 19th March.  

James Boler, who set up JRB Accountancy in 2015, said: "We repeatedly raised the question with HMRC advisers prior to the furlough scheme being rolled out about the treatment of annual payroll schemes and not once did an adviser (or HMRC's guidance) indicate that they would be exempt.

 "HMRC is aware of this issue and has no plans to address it.  This will unfairly penalise thousands of directors across the UK for using a HMRC approved method of reporting payroll. 

 "We feel strongly about doing everything we can to help our clients, and have been working hard to guide them through the various COVID-19 support initiatives.

"Whilst we appreciate that the government can’t support everyone and some people will fall through the cracks this feels like a deliberate attempt to exclude individuals worthy of furlough support."

 JRB Accountancy acts for over 400 businesses and individuals across the UK.