You have until 28 October to amend your September furlough claim
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”), which helped to protect millions of jobs throughout the pandemic, finally came to an end on 30 September 2021 after multiple extensions.
Claims for September must have been filed with HMRC by 14 October 2021, but if you think you may have made an error in your claim for September, there is still time to amend the claim.
If the error made has resulted in the employer receiving too little grant money, you have until 28 October 2021 to amend the claim.
If the employer has claimed too much and has not already repaid the overclaimed amount, you must notify HMRC and repay the amount overclaimed by the latest of:
- 90 days after the date you received the grant you were not entitled to
- 90 days after the date you received the grant that you were no longer entitled to keep because your circumstances changed
If you do not do this, HMRC may charge a penalty.
Even if the 90-day deadline has passed, it is important that you notify HMRC of any amounts you have overclaimed.
It is also crucial that any underclaims which have resulted in employees being underpaid furlough pay are identified and steps are taken to correct the underpayment without delay. The employer must make good the underpaid furlough pay within 12 months from the end of the accounting period in which the underpayment arose (where the employer is a company). Failure to do so may result in the claim for the employee being invalidated i.e. the employer would need to repay the full grant claimed in respect of the underpaid employee’s wages in the relevant period to HMRC.
In March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed that £100m would be invested in the HMRC Taxpayer Protection Taskforce, with a new taskforce of around 1,250 investigators being set up to investigate those who have defrauded Covid-19 support initiatives, including the CJRS.
It is therefore vital for employers to ensure that all historical CJRS claims are robust as HMRC has already opened thousands of investigations, with further investigations to follow. Employers should carry out a thorough review of all claims filed to satisfy themselves that all grant claims are correct and be ready for an inspection from HMRC.
Penalties and interest charges are likely to be far higher if errors which have resulted in CJRS claims being overstated are discovered by HMRC at a later date.
Our employment tax team have been assisting clients with CJRS claims since the scheme was announced and have already helped a number of clients to review their CJRS claims.
For further advice or assistance, please contact one of our specialists: