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How to Make a Furlough Claim

Article written by Steven Bourne from the Chartwell Practice

The government have announced that the HMRC portal to enable a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to be made goes live on Monday 20th April.

There is currently some uncertainty over who will actually be able to make the claim, as the guidance from HMRC does not make it clear if your payroll agent (in our case The Pay Academy) will be able to do this for you.

Stevens advice is that each client should be prepared to submit the furlough claim themselves but they will aim to help and support you with this as much as they can.

They do reserve the right to make a nominal charge for this service depending on the complexity of the calculations in each case.

To make a claim the business must have a Business Tax Account with a government gateway login registered with HMRC, and for this there are currently four situations in which you may find yourself:-


  1. I already have a business tax account with PAYE for Employers linked to it.
  2. I have a business tax account and I know my government gateway login details but PAYE for employers is not linked. (or The Chartwell Practice already submit VAT Returns for my business and have my login details).
  3. I have a business tax account and I do not know the government gateway login details.
  4. I do not have a business tax account or a government gateway login for the business.


The Advice For Each Circumstance Is Different So Please Read Below The One That Applies To You 


  1. I already have a business tax account with PAYE for Employers linked to it


If this is the case then you do not need to take any further action at this point and you will be able to access the portal as soon as it becomes available.


  1. I have a Business Tax Account and I know my log in details but PAYE for Employers is not linked


  • Log into your government gateway account and click on “add a tax to your account”
  • Click on Employers or intermediaries (second on list)
  • Click on PAYE for employers (top one on list)
  • Answer YES to “Do you have an employer PAYE reference”
  • Click continue and you will be on a screen to “Request access to PAYE for Employers”
  • You will now require your scheme reference numbers. These are on the monthly summary (P.30) which you receive each month telling you what to pay to HMRC
  • Box one, enter first three numbers of the scheme
  • Box two, enter letters/numbers of the rest of the reference
  • Box three, enter the accounts office reference
  • Click request access and the registration should be complete and PAYE will appear as one of the services on your account


  1. I have a Business Tax Account but do not know or have forgotten my log in details


  • Call HMRC on 0300 200 3600 to reset your login details.
  • The lines are open from 8.00a.m. to 4.00p.m.
  • Ignore the recorded messages, this process cannot be done via their website, it can only be done by speaking to them.
  • HMRC will issue an activation code by post to your business postal address and it can take up to ten days for this to be received.


  1. I do not have a Government Gateway Account for the business


  • Go to
  • Enrol as a new user by selecting “PAYE for Employers” and following the steps
  • HMRC will issue an activation code by post to your business postal address and it can take up to ten days for this to be received.


If Situation One Doesn’t Apply To You, Until You Have Completed The Steps In Situation Two, Three Or Four You Will Not Be Able To Make A Furlough Claim. 


Once the HMRC portal is live and you are ready to make a claim under the CJRS you will require the following information. It is a good idea to assemble this now so that you are ready to claim as soon as possible:-


  • The account number and sort code to enable HMRC to pay the money into the business bank account.
  • The name and telephone number of the person in your business that HMRC can call with any queries on your claim.
  • Your self-assessment Unique Tax Reference (UTR). Company UTR or the Company registration number. Please let us know if you require any assistance in finding this information.
  • The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of the furloughed employees.
  • The total amount being claimed and the total furlough period.


HMRC have said that a further e mail will be issued in the next few days with more details on how and when to access the online system. This is due to be operational on Monday 20th April .