Car dealers are among businesses across the UK who have been told that they must pay back any over claimed funds from Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) – deleting any online claims made in error within 72 hours.
ASE alerted the sector’s operators to an update published by the HMRC yesterday (July 28) which states that businesses which have made an over claim in error must delete their online claim within 72 hours.
The guidance also re-states the guidance that “If you have made an error in a claim that means you have received too much, you must pay this back to HMRC”.
HMRC’s latest guidance said that, in the event that funds from an over claim had been received by a business, the issue must be reported as part of its next online claim. Any new claim will be reduced and the business will need to keep a record of the adjustment for six years, it said.
If a business is not planning on submitting another claim then it must contact the HMRC to repay the funds.
Notifications must be received within 90 days of receiving the grant.
The HMRC added: “If you do not do this, you may have to pay a penalty.
“If you do repay any overclaimed grant, this will prevent any potential tax liability in respect of the overpayment of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
“We will not be actively looking for innocent errors in our compliance approach.”
Although it will not be “actively looking for innocent errors” a separate HMRC guidance document outlines its plans for: the collection of the overpayment by tax assessment; recovery of overpayment from individuals where companies become insolvent where the claim can be proven to have been deliberately incorrect or the funds misapplied; and the recovery of overpayments from any one partner in a partnership (joint and several liability).
Those found to have claimed from the CRJS in a fraudulent manner could be subject to penalties of up to 100% of their claim; publication of the names of deliberate defaulters; and/or criminal prosecution.
ASE’s head of tax, Chris Cummings, said: “Without the furlough scheme, the UK economy would have crashed and it would take many years to recover.
“The payments made by HMRC are and have been a lifeline.
“Innocent errors will be tolerated provided monies are repaid (we will not be actively looking for innocent errors in our compliance approach) but negligent, reckless or deliberate claims to recover monies that are unjustified will be rightly punished.”