Article:

CJRS Claims Review Service

06 August 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) scheme was implemented in a very short timeframe, and the mechanism for claiming a CJRS grant is very complex and has changed with each of the four versions of the scheme. Understandably, many businesses focused on cash flow and securing a grant rather than the detail of their claim so it is almost inevitable that many unintentional mistakes will have been made.

HMRC appreciates this and as well as creating a correction process at an early stage, the government has put in place specific new legislative duties for businesses to notify HMRC of CJRS claim errors that have not been put right. Failure to notify an uncorrected error will be taken very seriously and businesses could eventually be publically named and shamed for not putting things right as well as charged tax penalties.

HMRC has already been writing to businesses to remind them of their legal duties to correct errors or disclose them and make adjustments on their tax returns. It has also set up a task force to deal with furlough fraud and tax enquires into CJRS claims.

Will your furlough claims come back to haunt you?

In our experience, businesses seldom appreciate the full complexity of the CJRS rules (plus the changes to them) and they have caught out even the most diligent of businesses. If you can’t be certain that all you CJRS claims were 100% correct it is sensible to get them reviewed by professional to:

  • Identify risks and errors
  • Plan the best way to correct them
  • Prove to HMRC that you have taken ‘reasonable care’ in fulfilling your compliance obligations.

Even if you have spotted errors in your CJRS claims and already started to put them right, are you going about that in the right way? Failing to correct past errors in the appropriate way could also lead to problems with HMRC - read about CJRS claim set-offs.

How BDO can help

Since its inception, we have assisted clients to claim the CJRS and our in-depth experience means we can also provide an independent expert review of your past CJRS claims. Among the many points we will consider for are:

  • Payroll frequency/part month/overlapping claims
  • How pay was calculated
  • Types of pay (salary, overtime, variable pay, allowances)
  • Types of discretionary income
  • Salary sacrifice arrangements
  • Types of employees
  • How sickness absence was handled and tracked
  • Flexi-furlough claims
  • How any errors have been corrected.

We will tailor our review to meet your needs; it can range from a high level risk review to detailed analysis and sampling of past claims providing you with a report that can be followed by a remedial action plan. All our reviews will be carried out on the basis of a fixed fee agreed with you in advance.

The CJRS has been a lifeline but dealing with claims has been stressful and time consuming: get your claims reviewed now so that past errors don’t come back to haunt your business in the future.

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Read the most up to date BDO FAQs on the Coronavirus JRS