4th August 2020

CJRS compliance activity starts

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Last month we told you about the first arrest made for CJRS fraud.  Well now HMRC   has begun ramping up its compliance activity on CJRS grants and has identified nearly 30,000 employers with claims that do not add up and HMRC believes there may be something wrong. HMRC will be writing to all these employers, 3,000 each week for 10 weeks, who may need to repay some or all of their claim.

HMRC has advised that these letters have been issued where a business:

  • may have claimed more CJRS grant than it is entitled to; or
  • may not meet the conditions to receive a CJRS grant – for example, by including employees in their CJRS claim who are not eligible.

The letter asks businesses to review their CJRS claims and to contact HMRC – whether they think they have made a mistake or not.

Please do not ignore the letter.

If you receive one of these letters HMRC believes that there is a potential problem so you must take action. You should review records such as pay and FPS submissions and the CJRS grant claim.

HMRC accepts that mistakes do happen – and have made it easy to correct a claim and voluntarily repay any overpayment of grant. If utilised then the employer will not be charged a penalty.

But you must contact HMRC whether you find an error or whether you consider the claim was accurate and correctly claimed.

You must respond to HMRC if you receive the letter If the claim was not correct and a payment is required, you should email a specific HMRC team who will then make contact and assist with the making of a formal disclosure and paying over amounts due for repayment.

The email, which must be from a business email account, must indicate:

  • The employer’s PAYE reference
  • The CJRS grant claim period being disclosed

If you believe your claim is correct and there is no mistake, then you should call a specific contact number provided in the letter.

The letter asks for the employer to respond within a set deadline. If no response is received, HMRC may start a formal compliance check. However, HMRC states that it is supporting employers whilst tackling serious fraud and criminal activity. HMRC understands that mistakes happen in what have been challenging times, and will not  seek out innocent errors or small mistakes by taking compliance action.

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