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HMRC publish guidance on penalties for not telling HMRC about CJRS grant overpayments

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

HMRC have published ‘Guidance: Penalties for not telling HMRC about Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant overpayments’, which covers: (a) the circumstances when employers received a grant but were not eligible or they have been overpaid (any amount of a CJRS grant employers were no longer entitled to keep after their circumstances changed); and (b) what penalties employers may have to pay if they do not tell HMRC. The guidance covers how HMRC decides how much the penalty will be, when employers may have to pay a penalty and how to appeal against a penalty. If employers knew they were not entitled to a grant when they received it or knew when they had stopped being entitled to it because of a change of circumstances and didn’t tell HMRC in the specified notification period (set out under ‘Notification of overpaid amount of grant’) then the law treats the failure as deliberate and concealed. This means a penalty of up to 100% could be charged on the amount of the CJRS grant that employers were not entitled to receive or keep and had not repaid by the last day of the notification period. Deliberate penalties, arising as a consequence of an incorrect CJRS grant claim, will fall under the Publishing details of Deliberate Defaulters scheme, i.e. naming and shaming.

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