South East Wales’ largest independent accountancy firm is urging all business that have utilised the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to thoroughly check their claims for inaccuracies before the cut-off date, to avoid the risk of fines or even prosecution.
Newport-based Kilsby Williams is issuing this warning following a growing number of businesses recently receiving a letter from HMRC, informing them of potential errors and reminding them that all claims must be wholly accurate.
Common errors that employers have been making when submitting these claims include claiming for an employee that was not actually eligible for the scheme and using the wrong calculations or reference figures when determining furlough pay.
For employers who identify previous miscalculations, HMRC has set 20 October 2020 as the cut-off date for self-declarations. Any self-declarations made after 20 October 2020 are potentially subject to penalties and even prosecution in the most severe cases.
Kilsby Williams is advising all employers making claims to ensure they retain all copies of the written confirmations issued to all employees notifying them that they were to be placed on the scheme, as well as retaining copies of the calculations used for all CJRS claims made.
Sadie Leadbetter, Payroll Manager, Kilsby Williams, said: “It is of vital importance that employers who have received a warning letter from HMRC regarding their CJRS claims take this warning seriously.
“Even if the errors made were completely accidental, businesses could indeed find themselves facing a HMRC enquiry, followed by hefty penalties and even prosecution.
“This scheme has been a life-line for many firms, and we are urging all affected employers to thorough check back through their claims, or to get in touch with an expert who can provide an audit service and ensure full compliance on your behalf.”
For those employers who have received a letter informing them of possible inaccuracies, Kilsby Williams is able to provide a comprehensive CJRS audit service, identifying claim areas where non-compliance may have arisen and helping to settle this, to avoid the large costs associated with an HMRC enquiry.