Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update

Under the government’s current plans for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), September and October will be the closing months of the scheme.

  • In September, CJRS is paying 70% of wages up to £2,187.50 for the hours employees don’t work. Employers will pay a minimum of 10% of wages for the hours employees don’t work plus Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions.
  • In October, CJRS will pay 60% of wages up to £1,875 for the hours employees don’t work. Employers will pay a minimum of 20% of wages for the hours employees don’t work plus Employer NICs and pension contributions.
  • CJRS will end on Saturday 31 October.

We’ve been pleased to assist clients with the claims process for furloughed and flexi-furloughed employees. We’re happy to discuss any queries you have; our CJRS claim form is available here.

HMRC is investigating CJRS fraud

The government, while noting the popularity of CJRS, is also concerned about misuse of the scheme.

According to a spokesman for the Prime Minister, “[HMRC] are currently looking into 27,000 high-risk claims where they believe a serious error or fraudulent claim has been made.”

Jim Harra, HMRC’s Chief Executive, has elaborated on HMRC’s approach, saying:

“We are not going to try and find employers who have made legitimate mistakes in compiling their claims because this is obviously something new that everybody has to get to grips with in a very difficult time. We will expect employers to check their claims, and repay any excess amounts, but what we will be focused on is tackling abuse and fraud.”

How we can help

HMRC have started writing to employers about suspected CJRS claim errors. However, these letters reportedly contain limited detail about what HMRC believes is wrong with the claim. If you receive a CJRS compliance letter from HMRC, please let us know so that we can advise you on what to do next.

Given the huge financial cost of the government’s coronavirus support schemes, it is understandable that HMRC are seeking to recover any overpayments that have been made, regardless of whether the overpayment was obtained deliberately or unintentionally by the recipient employer.

If you have made a CJRS claim then we would strongly recommend taking advantage of BKL’s Tax Fee Protection Service as the professional costs for corresponding with HMRC will be covered in full. We explain more about the service here.

You can find more information on CJRS and the government’s other support schemes at our coronavirus hub. If you would like specific guidance, we’d be pleased to help: please get in touch with your usual BKL contact or use our enquiry form.

NICOLA HALL

BILSHAN MENSAH

Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

Jon Wedge

While Jon’s client work focuses on the financial services sector, he also oversees the firm’s assurance service, as well as supporting the trainees following in his footsteps.

ELANA DIMMER

Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.

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