Director at Crossland Employment Solicitors
Columnist
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How firms can prepare for HMRC furlough fraud inspections

Employment solicitor Barry Ross looks at how businesses and accountants can prepare for the inevitable HMRC furlough fraud inspections.

12th Jan 2021
Director at Crossland Employment Solicitors
Columnist
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HMRC investigation
iStock_miodrag ignjatovic

The speed at which the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was set up meant that guidance and Treasury Directions issued were unclear and often conflicted. They also changed frequently as HMRC got to grips with the issues of the scheme and the evolving needs of the economy.

The scheme relies heavily on companies submitting claims themselves, opening it up to significant abuse. HMRC’s Chief Executive, Jim Harra, told the Commons Public Accounts Committee that while the scheme had saved nine million jobs, it was a “magnet for fraudsters”. 

Research by Crossland Employment Solicitors investigating furlough fraud found that over a third of employees had been asked by their boss to work while furloughed by their companies. 29% had been asked to carry out administrative tasks and one in five had been asked to cover someone else’s job, or work for a linked company.  

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