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How to Prepare for HMRC Furlough Inspection Visits

on Friday, 27 November 2020.

We are aware that HMRC have recently requested certain information from organisations to check whether the business has been using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme correctly.

Requests can be made on relatively short notice (most likely two weeks) so we recommend that employers have the information readily available and are able to provide it to HMRC in a timely manner. The information requested by HMRC is intended to ensure compliance with the scheme - that organisations are meeting the conditions and claiming the correct amounts.

What Information Is HMRC Likely to Request?

HMRC is likely to require employers to provide information such as:

  • employee information, including personal details, calculation details, hours worked
  • evidence of payments and claims
  • details of any adjustments or corrections; and
  • confirmation that everything matches the Real Time Information submitted

What Happens Next?

Once the information above has been provided, HMRC may then telephone the employer to seek further clarification. Whilst we have not heard of this happening yet, HMRC may also request to see evidence of reserves or information to prove that the furlough payments are necessary for the survival of the business.

Best Practice

It is worth mentioning that we understand only a very low number of employers may be contacted by HMRC. However, it would be a sensible step to consider now whether you would be easily able to gather the information set out above should it be requested and to ensure that all furlough payments claimed can be justified in accordance with the terms of the scheme in force at the time.

Coronavirus guidance employers

For advice in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, please contact Ellie Boyd in our Employment Law team on 07393 148 143, or complete the form below.

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