How were furlough claims filed with HMRC?

CJRS Claims

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I have a client who has had a CJRS inspection for their furlough claims. This has produced some weeks with Over claims and some with Under claims. Client has kept no record of the individual employees' furlough amounts within each weeks claim. Several Payroll specialists tell me that the individual employee amounts were keyed into the HMRC portal at the time. HMRC say only the weekly total values were keyed in, not individual employees. Would appreciate readers' recollections of how each claim was keyed into the portal. I am aware that the employee names were keyed - but what about the inidividual's furlough values? Thanks !

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By David Ex
20th Dec 2023 13:37
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Replying to David Ex:
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By John Ierston
20th Dec 2023 13:50

Thanks Dave. I can see a reference to manually entering employees payments. This would contradict HMRC's current view.
Much appreciated. Any other comments from anyone gratefully appreciated as well!

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Johny Fartpants Picture
By johnny fartpants
20th Dec 2023 13:46

Hi John. The claims required the sender to specify how many employees the claim related to and how much was being claimed (along with the period that the claim related to). I hope that helps.

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Replying to johnny fartpants:
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By John Ierston
20th Dec 2023 13:52

Thanks Johnny. So you dont think it was necessary to enter amounts employee by employee?.
Cheers

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Replying to John Ierston:
By K81
20th Dec 2023 13:59

it was just one overall figure with the names/NINOs & addresses of each employee that was being claimed for. no individual calculations.

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Replying to John Ierston:
Johny Fartpants Picture
By johnny fartpants
20th Dec 2023 14:06

My memory of this (and I may be wrong here) was that you had to enter the national insurance numbers for each employee within the claim but that the amounts claimed were as a total per pay period for the payroll as a whole.

It has been a long time since these were required and my memory is a bit rusty. I'm sure someone will correct me if any of this wrong.

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By Matrix
20th Dec 2023 14:03

I would get someone involved who dealt with claims. I don’t see how you can help your client if you didn’t.

It was one amount per claim.

Your client must have a record of how this was calculated, it was pretty complex.

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By Roland195
20th Dec 2023 14:43

From conception to implementation, the requirements of Furlough claims changed daily but I seem to recall that when the music stopped, it didn't extend to an amount expressly claimed per employee.

Do you not think that the client's lack of records is going to prove fatal in any event? Is there any sort of good reason why this isn't the case?

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Replying to Roland195:
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By John Ierston
20th Dec 2023 15:28

Probably thats right ! But the total claims across the year were right. HMRC just claiming for over payments and ignoring underpayments as they are entitled to.. appreciate your help . Best, John

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By Tom+Cross
20th Dec 2023 15:00

Again from memory, I developed a spreadsheet, which required ongoing modification, to support the claims, which I made on behalf of clients.

I'd assume that your client at least used some form of software, to deal with their payroll, at the time. That, at least, would be a starting point for what sounds to be a mammoth research exercise, if the client didn't retain CJRS records.

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By John Ierston
20th Dec 2023 15:24

Thanks Tom
The former bookkeeper probably did that but has left and no sign of copies of each claim, so difficult to resist HMRC claiming for 'overpayment' weeks. Thanks again

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VAT
By Jason Croke
20th Dec 2023 15:53

I was doing furlough claims to help out the Payroll team, it was very manual and labour intensive as I recall.

As others have posted, on the HMRC website, you had to type in the individual employees name and their NI number but then only a collective figure for the furlough being claimed.

For example, if you had 5 employees, you had to enter onto the HMRC website each name and their NI, once all names/NI were input, you then went onto another screen where you entered how much you were claiming for everyone as one total (single amount for all 5 employees).

We had a spreadsheet where we listed each employee and their details and then the specific calculation for each of them individually, so although we submitted a single value claim, we had the supporting spreadsheet in our client file that showed how much each employee got, what their normal pay was, the furlough hours and furlough amounts being claimed, etc.

Point being, you had to calculate the individual employees entitlement and furlough amount based on their base pay as at February or whatever month it was and so you couldn't just enter the values into the HMRC website (the website didn't calculate anything), you had to have your own workings and then just the totals from your workings was needed in terms of the "how much are you claiming" question.

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Replying to Jason Croke:
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By John Ierston
20th Dec 2023 16:03

Jason
Thats really helpful - thanks.
As the client does not have the audit trail of the weekly claims, it is back to some head scratching and guesswork :(

Thanks again

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Replying to John Ierston:
RLI
By lionofludesch
20th Dec 2023 16:34

John Ierston wrote:

Jason
Thats really helpful - thanks.
As the client does not have the audit trail of the weekly claims, it is back to some head scratching and guesswork :(

Thanks again

Oh dear - no records - a schoolboy error.

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Replying to John Ierston:
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By FactChecker
20th Dec 2023 23:18

I've come to this late in the day (literally!), but although I think most of the points have been covered above ... they don't generally help you.

You're starting 'at the wrong end' in reviewing all the possible ways in which the claims *may* have been calculated/collated/submitted ... it really doesn't matter much (in this context) what detail was sent to HMRC.

[FWIW the required data for a claim (and the format in which it was allowed to be submitted) varied several times during the course of CJRS's existence. And I don't have the time to dig out years of notes/files to check when each change took place - or indeed for what scenarios the various changes applied.]

But ...

A. It is a cardinal sin of the employer (and of anyone to whom they sub-contracted the processing of payroll) to NOT have maintained effective records - and, in the case of CJRS claims, the records to be maintained were specified as being part of the conditions of 'entitlement' (so inadequate records = invalid claims)!

B. Materiality may be core to what you do next.
Basically, ignoring how unfair it may seem, how does the 'loss' (of accepting HMRC's demands) compare with the 'cost' of fighting it ... whether by re-doing all the calcs or suing a sub-contractor or whatever (plus your time and the risk of failure)?

Be careful what you admit to HMRC ... a casual mention of employer having incomplete/non-existent records may mean they'll want ALL the monies returned.

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