Eat out to help out
5 Aug

Eat out to help out

The Government’s new Eat Out to Help Out scheme came into effect on 1 August. The scheme offers diners discounted bills on selected days in August in order to encourage consumers to return to pubs, cafes and restaurants.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new programme which aims to support the licensed trade and restaurant industry including all who are employed in those industries earlier this year.

The aim of this article is to offer guidance to our clients who seek to operate the scheme:

Who can claim?

If you have registered your business for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and offered scheme discounts to diners on Mondays to Wednesdays between 3 and 31 August, you can:

  • Claim back the discount given on food and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Submit weekly claims for August until 30 September

You must make the claim yourself, you cannot ask an agent to do it for you.

You must enter accurate details for all the establishments that you are claiming for before submitting your claim. If you need to amend information later your payment may be delayed.

When you can claim

You can make a claim after 7 days from the date of your registration. The earliest you can make a claim is 7 August. You can only claim for scheme discounts you offered on or after the date you registered.

What you’ll need

You’ll need the records you’ve kept for each day you’ve used the scheme, including the:

  • total number of diners (covers) who have used the scheme, including children
  • total amount of discount you’ve given
  • period you’re claiming for
  • If you’re making a claim for more than one establishment, you will need to have the:
    • records for each establishment
    • overall total value of the claim for all establishments ready before you claim

How to claim

The service to claim reimbursement will be available from 7 August 2020.

You can make up to 5 claims before 30 September. You cannot claim after that.

When you sign into the service you must choose the periods that you claiming for, from:

  • 3 to 5 August
  • 10 to 12 August
  • 17 to 19 August
  • 24 to 26 August
  • 31 August

You’ll also need to enter the total number of covers and claim value for each establishment that has offered the scheme discount.

Records you must keep

You can keep records relating to the scheme in a way that suits your business.

To show the link between the number of diners who got the discount and the total value of scheme discount being claimed for in each claim period, for each day you must have a record of the:

  • total number of diners who have used the scheme discount in your establishment
  • total value of all eat in food and non-alcoholic drink sold where the scheme discounts were given
  • total value of scheme discounts you’ve given and claimed for
  • If you are using the scheme for more than one establishment, you must keep these records for each.

What happens next?

Once you’ve claimed, you’ll get a claim reference number. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will then check your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into the bank account you gave when you registered, within 5 working days.

Paying tax

You’ll still need to pay VAT based on the full amount of your customer’s bill before the scheme discount is applied. This amount needs to be reflected in the correct VAT return for the period the transaction took place.

If your point of sale system does not allow you to account for VAT accurately under this scheme, you can manually adjust your VAT account after the sale.

If you cannot include the adjustment in the period the transaction took place, you should estimate the VAT and you must account for any difference in your next VAT return.

The payment you receive will be treated as taxable income.

If you need to make a correction

HMRC are due to give instructions on this shortly.

If you need to correct any information given during registration or amend your registration, you’ll need to contact HMRC.

Full details of the scheme including how to register may be found at: