Getting furlough scheme calculations right is not always easy, particularly where staff have historically worked irregular hours or where individuals have returned to the workplace mid-way through a claim period.
We are also aware of cases where claims have been made in advance (which is allowed under the scheme rules), but where the business has subsequently proved busier than expected and as a consequence has had to recall furloughed members of staff.
Changes to furlough scheme
HMRC have recognised these difficulties and have recently added the ability to correct an earlier period’s furlough claim. This new functionality is really important because an employee who is on furlough is not allowed to do any work whatsoever for the company.
The only exception to this is for directors to undertake statutory duties such as maintaining company records. The change in scheme will now allow for part time working from 1 July but prior to this the position was 100% furlough.
Correcting furlough claims
If you become aware that your company has over-claimed, for whatever reason, please get in touch so that we can work with you to correct the error.
HMRC have stated publicly that they will be scrutinising furlough claims over the coming months and that they have received large numbers of tip-offs from the public which will guide their own enquiries.
Reading between the lines of the HMRC press releases we assume that many of these tip-offs relate to employees being on furlough but also being asked to work.
Given the expected increase in HMRC compliance activity it is far better that we work with you to correct any errors now than have HMRC discover them at a later date and seek to argue they were deliberate. The penalty regime is significant so we strongly advise you to act now where appropriate.
If you believe there may have been an error in your business’s furlough claim, whether submitted by ourselves or by the business itself, please do raise this with us.
Harts Macclesfield Office Remains Open
Our Macclesfield office remains open to clients for the collection and drop off of records and video conference meetings can be arranged.
Our Cheadle office reception area is currently closed so please contact us if you wish to drop off records so we can organise alternative arrangements with you.
Please feel free to call us if you would like to arrange a meeting through your preferred contact.
Our next webinar covering opening up your business and the government updates will take place on Wednesday 8 July at 11.00am.
Recordings of our series of Covid-19 related webinars can be found on the Harts YouTube Channel