Penalties for erroneous CJRS claims confirmed

12 October 2020

As widely publicised, HMRC is encouraging anyone who has made claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to check their previous submissions to ensure that they do not receive any penalties for claiming too much under the scheme, or for claiming in error.

If businesses realise that they have claimed too much under the scheme, and it has not already been repaid, then HMRC must be notified, and any overpaid amounts repaid by whichever date is applicable from the following:

  • 90 days from receipt of the money under the CJRS that the claimant was not entitled to
  • 90 days from the point at which circumstances changed which meant that the claimant was no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20 October 2020, if, on or before 22 July, the claimant received CJRS funds that they were not entitled to, or if their circumstances changed

Failure to adhere to these deadlines may mean that the claimant has to pay interest and also a penalty, in addition to repaying the amount of the CJRS grant that they were not entitled to.

There is guidance, published by HMRC, which discusses the interest rates that are applicable on late or early payments across all tax regimes, which would also apply to incorrect claims made under the CJRS.


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.