Furlough scheme changes clarified

HMRC released more information on the up-coming changes to the furlough scheme (CJRS) last week. A summary of two of the issues are set out below.

Have you over-claimed?

If you have made an error when making a claim under the CJRS and as a result you have received too much money, you must pay this back to HMRC.

Somewhat belatedly, HMRC have updated the application system so you can tell them if you have over-claimed in a previous claim – when you apply you will be asked if you need to reduce the amount to take account of a previous error. Your new claim amount will be reduced to reflect this. You should then keep a record of this adjustment for six years.

If you have made an error in a CJRS claim and do not plan to submit further claims, HMRC are working on a process that will allow you to let them know about your error and pay back any amounts that you have over-claimed.

Further guidance on this topic will be issued at a later date.

Why the 10th June is an important date

The CJRS will close to any employee who has not been formally furloughed for three weeks by the 30th June 2020.

Effectively, this means that you must add employees by 10th June to qualify them for the CJRS. HMRC’s notes on this topic confirm:

So, if you intend to furlough an employee who hasn’t been furloughed before, you will need to agree that with them and start their period of furlough on or before 10 June – this is the last day on which someone who has never been furloughed before can start a period of furlough and qualify for the scheme – this ensures the minimum three-week period is complete by 30 J‌un‌e.

CJRS will close 31 October 2020

As we have previously reported, the furlough scheme will close – no further claims after this date – on 31 October 2020.

Of all the announcements on this scheme, this is one that demands our attention.

We suggest that you start planning your options regarding staffing levels sooner rather than later. If you need help preparing the required “what-if” analysis, please call.

October may seem to be a distant spot on your calendar, but ground-rush principals apply. Consider your options sooner rather than later.