HMRC blocked thousands of furlough applications

HMRC has blocked thousands of applications for the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) due to fears that they were fraudulent.

More than 30,000 CJRS applications have been rejected by HMRC, according to reports. At the end of June, 1,526 CJRS claims were rejected because the companies applying had ceased trading.

An additional 23,899 applications were rejected because businesses didn’t have any employees on their payroll for the 2019/20 tax year.

HMRC reportedly believes many applications are fraudulent and has taken steps to block claims.

The CJRS will end on 31st October and be replaced by a Job Retention Bonus

The CJRS has provided over ?35 billion in support for 9.6 million jobs. It is being gradually wound down and will end on October 31st, being replaced by a Job Retention Bonus. This will see UK employers receive a one-off payment of ?1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021. The key points are:

  • Pay employers a Job Retention Bonus of ?1,000 per furloughed employee who is both brought back to work once the CJRS ends and is continuously employed by them until 31 January 2021.
  • To be eligible workers must be paid at least ?520 per month on average between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021.
  • The employer must have made claims for the employee under the CJRS.
  • The employee must not be under notice of termination on 31 January 2021 and the employee RTI records must be up to date.
  • Payments will be made to employers in February 2021 once Real-Time Information (RTI) data to 31 January 2021 has been received by HMRC.

Just as with the CJRS, payroll Bureaux, including us, will be gearing up to prepare for the Job Retention Bonus. It remains to be seen, of course, how many employers will claim for how many employees. We have already heard of some large companies who have said they won?t need to take advantage of the scheme, one of whom is Primark. It still seems likely that large numbers of companies will apply and benefit, however.

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