Nearly 13,000 HMRC investigations into misuse of coronavirus support schemes launched

30 June 2021

HMRC has investigated the misuse of a range of schemes implemented to support businesses and individuals through the pandemic. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the Eat Out To Help Out scheme.

Research carried out by law firm, BLM, demonstrated that, by the close of Q1 of 2021, HMRC had launched more than 12,000 probes into fraudulent use of the support schemes. The CJRS attracted the most formal compliance investigations (7,384), followed by the SEISS (5,020) , and the Eat Out To Help Out scheme (424) attracted the fewest.

It is anticipated that the number of investigations will continue to increase as more fraudulent activity and errors are uncovered.

As of 28 March 2021, three individuals had been arrested in relation to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and a further five in relation to the CJRS.

HMRC reported that, in June, nearly £18 billion has been paid out under CJRS, £24.5 billion under SEISS and £849 million was claimed under the Eat Out To Help Out scheme.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.