8,000 calls made to HMRC dedicated CJRS fraud hotline
Under the scheme, employers could claim a grant covering 80% of the wages of a furloughed employee, up to £2,500 a month. HMRC have stated “We will not seek out innocent errors and small mistakes for compliance action. We will act, however, against anyone who deliberately sets out to defraud the system or claims money they aren’t entitled to."
Employers are able to correct their mistake without being hit by a penalty if they notify HMRC and repay the money on time. The deadline for doing so is the latest of the following:
within 90 days of receiving the CJRS money they’re not entitled to;
within 90 days of when circumstances changed so that they were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant; or
20 October 2020 if they received CJRS money they’re not entitled to, or if their circumstances changed, on or before 22 July.
‘nudge’ letters where HMRC have concerns about claims start the review process
Currently about 3,000 employers, out of a total 1.2m who applied for government help during the coronavirus crisis, HMRC believes have made a mistake with their claim. Employers should check their claims and make any necessary corrections now before the deadlines to ensure over claims are viewed as the error they are and not intentional fraud. This could be particularly necessary for any claims made in haste early on in the scheme when everyone was under a great deal of pressure and the guidance was not fully developed.