To discourage unnecessary and potentially fraudulent furlough claims, HMRC is required to publish the names of all employers making claims from 1 December 2020.
This follows evidence that some businesses have abused the furlough scheme and made illegal claims, with HMRC launching investigations into 6,000 suspect claims. In recent months, a series of high-profile employers have voluntarily handed back £500m claimed via the scheme that they either didn’t need or weren’t entitled to.
Employees will get access to details of furlough claims made by their employers via their personal tax accounts.
Slightly concerning is that for sole directors of owner managed businesses who furlough only themselves, the new disclosures effectively make their personal salary information public.
Comments Julia Gallagher, tax partner at Curo, Chartered Accountants “It’s not surprising that HMRC is keen to crack down on businesses who have made fraudulent claims under the furlough scheme. Whilst most employers claim in good faith, fraudsters will exploit the gaps in the system. However, there will be genuine mistakes made by employers who rely on the cash to survive. It’s not easy to keep up with the changes in what the furlough grant covers, especially as the rules have changed with respect to pensions and NI”.
It’s worth noting that for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, employers cannot claim for any days during which the furloughed employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period (this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation).
How we help
You may be unsure about exactly how much to claim and indeed if you even need to make a claim given the new public scrutiny. We can review your company’s position from an employment taxes and payroll position to ensure only eligible employees form part of your furlough claim, and that the correct claim has been applied to each employee. With the possibilities around flexi furlough, there is even greater scope for error and confusion and it is vital that eligible businesses get access to cash over the weeks and months ahead.