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HMRC investigations into suspected abuse of the furlough scheme

30 March 2021 / Adam Craggs , Alice Kemp
Issue: 4786 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Caught in the act

Key points

  • As at 13 December 2020 the furlough scheme had cost the UK £46.4bn.
  • HMRC has wide powers to obtain documents communications data and to conduct covert surveillance activities.
  • Under FA 2020 the Revenue has powers to claw back payments incorrectly made to businesses.
  • FA 2020 Sch 16 para 12 offers a limited self-reporting amnesty for fraudulent claims which may result in lower penalties.
  • HMRC’s criminal recovery (and asset-freezing) powers stem from POCA 2002 Pt 2.
  • Under CFA 2017 HMRC could bring a prosecution for the offence of failing to prevent tax evasion.

The government’s coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) colloquially known as the ‘furlough scheme’ first announced on 20 March 2020 to help protect UK jobs during the global coronavirus pandemic and originally set to end on 30 June 2020 is now due to end on 30 September 2021. Under the...

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