HMRC are contacting an increasing number of employers who may need to repay some, or all, of the grant they received under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

  •  CJRS grants may be repayable where:
    • A grant was claimed in excess of the amount of entitlement.
    • The grant conditions were not met (for example, ineligible employees were included in the claim).
  • Where CJRS claims are incorrect, HMRC must be notified by the latest of:
    • 90 days after receipt of the grant.
    • 90 days after the day on which circumstances changed such that the employer was no longer entitled to retain the grant.
    • 20 October 2020.

We note the following common errors in CJRS claims:

  • Claiming both the Employment Allowance and CJRS grant in respect of the same National Insurance liabilities in the period 1 March 2020 to 31 July 2020.
  • Claims being made from 1 March 2020 in cases where the employee was not laid-off until after that date.
    • The CJRS was announced on 20 March 2020 and allowed back-dating to 1 March where an employee was laid off from that date, and the employer subsequently decided to furlough that employee.
  • Claims being made in respect of furloughed directors who continued to undertake work beyond that necessary to fulfil their statutory duties under the Companies Act.
    • HMRC guidance indicated that furloughed directors should do no more work than would reasonably be judged necessary to meet their statutory duties and that they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provide services to or on behalf of their company.
  • Claim made for other staff who have continued working.
  • Claims were made by business who were not actually adversely affected by the coronavirus.

The CJRS has been extended to operate from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021. The direction which implements this extension makes it clear that:

  • No CJRS claim may be made in respect of an employee if it is abusive or is otherwise contrary to the exceptional purpose of the scheme.
    • The purpose of CJRS is to provide for payments to be made to employers in respect of them incurring costs of employment relating to employees who are within the scope of CJRS arising from the health, social and economic emergency in the United Kingdom resulting from Coronavirus and Coronavirus disease.

Links

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from 1 November 2020
This guide covers the new CJRS grant available from 1 November 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to 31 October 2020
This guide covers the CJRS grant available from 1 March to 31 October 2020

COVID-19: Government support tracker
This tracker covers measures announced by the government to support individuals and businesses, as we get through COVID-19.

COVID-19: Employer support tracker
An index to our employer support pages covering support and relaxations available to employers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Taxation of Coronavirus Support Payments
This guide summarises the tax treatment of grants paid during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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