Furlough errors

Rob Woodward and Richard Morley consider the complexity of furlough claim calculations and how to notify HMRC of any errors made

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) introduced the word ‘furlough’ to tax advisers’ vocabularies. When the scheme was launched, the initial focus of HMRC and the government was to deliver financial support. However, with the scheme coming to an end in October, attention is now shifting onto the detail of claims made, as HMRC reviews claims to ensure they were accurate.  

In figures quoted by the chief executive of HMRC Jim Harra when he appeared before the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee in early September, HMRC is inquiring into 27,000 high risk claims (of which HMRC expects to check up on 10,000). Mr Harra said that the combined error and fraud rate in the furlough scheme could be between 5% and 10% (between £1.75 billion and £3.5 billion).