COVID-19: CJRS penalties factsheet published

29 July 2020


On 28 July 2020, HMRC published the “CC/FS48 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – receiving grants you were not entitled to” factsheet which confirms the following:

  • HMRC will use their powers to recover overclaimed Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grants and issue penalties accordingly.
  • Payment of the amount assessed is due 30 days after the tax assessment is issued. Interest will be charged on late payments. Late payment penalties may also be charged if the amount remains unpaid 31 days after the due date.
  • If you overclaimed a CJRS grant and have not repaid it, or received an assessment from HMRC, you should notify HMRC within the notification period. The notification period ends on the latest of whichever date applies below:
    • 90 days after you receive the CJRS grant you’re not entitled to.
    • 90 days after the day circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
    • 20 October 2020 (90 days after the Finance Act received Royal Assent).
  • If HMRC have not made an assessment you must include the relevant details if the overpaid CJRS grant on the appropriate Corporation Tax return or on your 2020 to 2021 Self-Assessment tax return.
  • HMRC will not charge a penalty if you;
    • did not know you had overclaimed the CJRS grant at the time you received it, or
    • at the time that circumstances changed meant that you stopped being entitled to it and
    • if you have repaid it within the relevant time period.
      • If you are a sole trader or a partner, the relevant period ends on 31 January 2022.
      • If you are a company, the relevant period ends 12 months from the end of your accounting period.
  • If you fail to notify HMRC that you are chargeable to Income Tax on an overclaimed CJRS grant and you know that you were not entitled to the grant then the failure will be deliberate and concealed This means a penalty of up to 100% could be charged.
  • HMRC will not actively look for innocent errors in their compliance approach.
  • Directors of insolvent companies who deliberately abused the CJRS can be made personally liable where tax cannot be recovered from the company.
  • Further information on what to do if you have made an error in your claim is available in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance.

See the full factsheet here.

Aspire Comment

This factsheet confirms exactly what we have been suggesting in our Health Check blog series. It is imperative that companies and individuals disclose any errors to HMRC within the 90-day period. There is no question that those who have abused the scheme deliberately must notify HMRC immediately. This is imperative as failure to do so will result in a penalty of up to 100% of the false claim made, and in some cases, directors may be made personally liable.

Do you need to disclose? Aspire are offering a fixed price COVID-19 Health-Check aimed at guiding you through HMRC’s likely approach to a post-COVID-19 investigation. We will detail recommendations for remedial action which may be taken to reduce potential risks where necessary. Can you afford not to?

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