New guidance on repaying Job Retention Scheme payments

Employers are being urged to move quickly to ensure they can maximise their ability to offset under and over claims for the Job Retention Scheme payments under HMRC’s updated guidance.

The new guidelines come after HMRC has accepted certain historical underclaims may be deducted by employers when calculating any repayments due for overclaims. However, for an amount to be available for offset, the employer must have paid it to the furloughed employee within a reasonable time.

The new guidance is relevant to employers correcting historical errors and ensuring their compliance position is robust.

The time frame permitted to correct errors is within 12 months of the end of the accounting period in which the underclaim was made. As HMRC and auditors review claims, it is increasingly apparent that errors have resulted in both underclaims for some employees, and overclaims for others, in the same claim period.

Employers that claimed CJRS grants must ensure those claims were based on a reasonable interpretation of HMRC’s then-current guidance and prepared with reasonable care.

Separately, HMRC is carrying out a series of reviews that will last until at least March 2023.

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