Aspire's Health Check: COVID-19 (Part 2)

24 April 2020


It tolls for thee…

Following our first publication regarding the likelihood of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) challenging the eligibility of employees for whom a grant has been claimed via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), we have been in discussions with a Senior Officer of the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) at HMRC, who has confirmed that whilst the majority of compliance activity has been suspended at present, FIS expect there to be an abundance of investigatory work handed to them in terms of claims through the CJRS for many years to come.

During the discussion, the HMRC Senior Officer confirmed that during the “building” stages, FIS were consulted about their concerns for the CJRS system and the advice provided was;

There needs to be some compliance built into the system to prevent fraudulent claims. Whenever you do something to try and help people, there will always be some people who will take advantage and people will commit fraud”.

We do not believe in scaremongering businesses during what are already extremely difficult, unchartered times. However, we do strongly believe in preparing you for what is to come and creating a defendable position. It is our view, which is supported by the FIS, that utilisation of the CJRS may put your business on a list to be audited by HMRC at some future stage and the only way to prevent a further storm, is to ensure your business has followed due process such as having made your claim correctly, supported by robust and transparent communications with those employees who have been furloughed.

In times like these, prevention is most definitely better than cure.

Furlough Heath-Check 
We are currently offering a fixed price “Furlough Health-Check” aimed at guiding you through the process and replicating HMRC’s likely approach to a post-COVID investigation – without any of the nasty consequences.

If you would like to arrange a Health-Check please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0121 445 6178 or email