HMRC answers on Over and Under claim errors for earlier periods

The questions were raised by many that what should an employer or their agent do if there will be over or under claims due to an error when reviewing CJRS claims. Can they simply offset one against the other so they only had to repay any net over-claim to HMRC?

Replying to the above, HMRC said ‘yes’ it can be done but only if the compensating errors arise in the same claim period. The uncertainty occurs as the CJRS rules have provided for different time limits for dealing with under and over-claims.

Under claim deadline

If any of the employers have under-claimed (ie not claimed all that they were entitled to under the CJRS rules) and have to recover the shortfall then they must submit an amendment within 28 days from the end of the month of the claim. They will lose out if they miss this deadline unless there will be a reasonable excuse.

Over claim deadline

There is no equivalent cut-off point for making corrections if the employers have claimed too much (ie over-claimed). If the over-claim is found then it should be dealt with under FA 2020, Sch 16. This means that the employer has to notify HMRC and then repay the amount owing before various deadlines to avoid a penalty.