The furlough scheme has been a lifeline for businesses of all sizes throughout the coronavirus pandemic. However, many have exploited the furlough scheme by making fraudulent claims or failing to review their initial claim.
According to HMRC data, mid-sized businesses claimed £9.49 billion through the furlough scheme, as of 31st January 2021.
Research has found that, of those using the scheme, around 16% have not reviewed their initial claim.
Of those businesses who have reviewed their initial furlough claim (83%), around 13% of those found errors which required correcting.
HMRC are well underway with investigating fraudulent or incorrect claims, following the Chancellor’s announcement to allocate £100 million to help tackle furlough fraud. HMRC are said to be taking a tough approach to review fraudulent claims.
The head of tax dispute resolution, Grant Thornton UK LLP, has said that with the guidance for the scheme being updated so many times, it may have impacted compliance. Although many claims will have been made in good faith, errors may have unknowingly occurred in many applications.
Mid-sized businesses have been urged to contact HMRC to address any problems with claims and potentially reduce penalty charges.
The reputational damage from misusing the scheme can be significant. It is therefore essential that businesses document the review of the claim to show their compliance.
At STS (Europe) we can offer help and advice for your business to ensure you are meeting the requirements of the furlough scheme and not committing any acts of fraud. If you suspect you have falsely claimed under the furlough scheme, our experts can guide you through the process and make disclosures to HMRC on your behalf.
Get in touch with us today via our contact page or give us a call on 01704 891676.