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HMRC will publish details of CJRS 3 grant recipients
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HMRC to list furlough claimants in anti-fraud move

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Employers face a dilemma of whether to furlough employees or risk adverse publicity as new measures to name recipients come into force.

9th Dec 2020
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak ordered HMRC to publish information about employers who submit claims under the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) over December 2020 and January 2021.

The HMRC guidance on CJRS data to be made public includes the name of the employer and company reference, plus the amount of the CJRS claim. Tax officials will post the information within three months of the claim on the gov.uk website. HMRC can withhold publication if the department thinks it would expose any individual to serious risk of violence or intimidation.

The published details will only relate to claims made relating to periods later than 1 December 2020. 

“There are a lot of people on tenterhooks as to what this will look like in February, as that is when the publication will happen in respect to claims from December on,” said payroll lecturer and CJRS expert Kate Upcraft.

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Replies (18)

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By SteveHa
09th Dec 2020 14:32

So I assume that they will NOT publish details where only one or two people were furloughed, since this will expose sufficient information to allow them to be identified, and for their income to be calculated. Or have HMRC not thought that far ahead?

EDIT: By way of example. Business employs 3 people. 2 of them are very chummy with each other, with no secrets. The third less so.

The two chummy ones check how much has been claimed, and then back of a fag packet calculation work out how much relates to employee No. 3. Bang. His salary level has been revealed to the first two. They realise he gets paid more, and so firebomb his car.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By Hugo Fair
09th Dec 2020 23:00

Sorry, but this example wouldn't work out that way.

The reported value of the claim is to be shown as a band/range value ... the first of which indicates that the total claim (for the month) was between £1 and £10,000.

Due to the cap on a claim for an individual employee, the example business (with total of 3 employees) will be in band 1 irrespective of the salaries of any/all of the employees.

So the 3rd employee's car will be safe (at least from this source of retribution)!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
By SteveHa
10th Dec 2020 07:58

OK, example 2. Business has a single employee, married. Employee has told spouse that they are not furloughed, when in fact they are, but off to see their bit on the side every day.

Spouse checks, and car suffers the same fate.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By Hugo Fair
10th Dec 2020 11:32

Fair enough! Reminds of the old (pre-PC) days in Payroll, when I was asked by the recipient of a substantial pay-rise to pay the 'extra' into a different bank account. Why? Because he'd opened the 2nd account without telling his wife (and was paying rent for a love nest from it)!

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By Hugo Fair
09th Dec 2020 23:18

The fraud-prevention thinking behind this approach has nothing to do with the 'naming and shaming' concept mentioned by many ... with the possible exception of very large employers who have demonstrably been earning increased profits.

The hoped-for process goes like this (particularly in the SME sector):
* Employee assumes that ER is not claiming anything, as hasn't been told is on furlough and has continued to receive full pay.
* Because it's now publicly available info, employee decides to check on ER - and finds that CJRS claims have been made.
* As a result, employee decides to double-check on ER by looking on PTA (personal tax account facility), where it will show exactly how much (if anything) has been claimed by ER on behalf of employee's employment.
* If the result = employee not on furlough but ER in receipt of money for that employee, then the employee has option to blow the whistle on ER ... which is what HMRC are encouraging.

Of course, employee may choose to attempt blackmail of boss instead ... but that's a whole different kettle of fish!

N.B: in case it's non-standard, ER stands for employer throughout.

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By johnjenkins
10th Dec 2020 09:52

This is obviously a scare tactic to lower future claims.
If HMRC need to publish stuff to catch fraudsters then we are all in a very sorry state.
Anyway the fraudsters have and always will get away with it. Why? because there is an attitude of "can't be bothered" unless we don't have to do too much work. Let's just go for the easy targets. Bank fraud can be stopped so easily. How come ordinary people have problems opening bank accounts and fraudsters don't?

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By tomsbookkeeping
10th Dec 2020 10:52

Hi all,

Will this affect company credit rate? I am running a LTD with my wife. Our office is closed and my wife doesn't do any job duties because of it and gets CJRS. I have got an employee who is on CJRS too. I will be applying for a mortgage and I don't how banks will treat all of this.

Any idea?

Thank you
Thomas

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Replying to tomsbookkeeping:
By jon_griffey
10th Dec 2020 11:09

I have been told by mortgage brokers that lenders are taking a dim view of mortgage applicants that have been furloughed - even if they are back to work now. They take this as evidence that the employer is struggling and the employment may not be secure.

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Replying to jon_griffey:
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By tomsbookkeeping
10th Dec 2020 11:18

Thanks Jon,

It means I have a choice to make somebody unemployed and looks ok for lenders or keep this person employed and look very bad for the lenders.

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Replying to tomsbookkeeping:
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By johnjenkins
10th Dec 2020 11:45

I've just heard of a case where Santander pulled the plug after contracts had been exchanged, due to updated information. Lenders will be more careful not just this year but going into next year as well. We also have the Brexit scenario which could result in less income for some. I have heard that CJRS will not affect credit ratings.

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By GodHimself
10th Dec 2020 17:47

Complete waste of time.
Hmrc have more pressing matters to be dealing with but instead are wasting there time publishing these stupid lists.

My son worked for a building company last year and left the company In February. That same company are still to this date 10 Dec claiming furlough and keeping the money. We Confirmed this and have passed all the details through to hmrc and yet hrmc have made it extremely difficult to report someone and then after providing them with all the details they have replied and said they are to busy to look into it.

So a conete waste of time.

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Replying to GodHimself:
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By Paul Crowley
10th Dec 2020 18:30

That might be what you think
HMRC do not release or concur or disagree allegations of fraud.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
By SteveHa
11th Dec 2020 09:45

And they do not keep the informer appraised. That would be contrary to the OSA.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Dec 2020 09:17

Well its saving HMRC money.

I have had 2 clients pull out of making claims when I mentioned this to them a couple of weeks ago.

One was worried about mortgages, another (a contractor) worried that it would look like they were not in demand from a recruiter point of view.

Net saving all of about £800 over those two clients, but its saving 'em cash.

I hope agents have been telling their clients about this from the off or they are going to have some grumpy clients.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By johnjenkins
11th Dec 2020 09:27

I really don't know where the problem for business is. If covid has affected your business adversely (meaning you have no or less work for your staff) then you claim. The problem is that it has cost the Government a lot more than was predicted. The starting point was £330b. I think we are over the £400b already with another 4 months, at least, to go.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Dec 2020 09:52

@john, for decent sized business i dont think its an issue, but for micro ones its reputational and potentially credit risk. My clients making claims are almost all director only, and they are often getting something like half of 80% of £700 so its hardly worth having.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By johnjenkins
11th Dec 2020 10:21

Yep I have a similar problem and I think it's totally wrong that dividends have not been taken into account, considering tax returns had already been submitted so the dividend element couldn't have been changed.

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By Arcadia
11th Dec 2020 17:45

The implication of publishing the list is that the Government is saying there is something not quite right. It is saying 'we will put this out into the court of public opinion.' 'Lets see what Joe public thinks about say, accountancy firms or lawyers claiming 'benefits''. In this way they are hoping to discourage claims. The prevention of fraud argument is a miniscule fig leaf.

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