HMRC will only consider cases where a business has a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline
Over the past 18 months, many accountancy firms have worked with their clients who have made use of the government’s job retention scheme in order to continue employing staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has allowed their employees to continue receiving a wage, even if they are unable to perform their duties.
Firms have also utilised the furlough scheme in order to support employees with increased care duties due to the pandemic, whether this be for children out of school or for vulnerable relatives suffering with illness.
As a result, insurers are seeing a flood of new claims emerging in relation to furlough, the majority of which relate to late filing of requests by accountancy firms on behalf of their clients. The deadline to submit furlough claims usually occurs on either the 14th or 15th day of the month.
At Lockton, we are aware of how much a claim like this can impact the business. In a recent claim we received from an accountancy practice, the firm advised us that they should have made a submission but missed the deadline and, as a result, a claim was made against them amounting to over £100,000.
HMRC will only accept claims beyond the relevant deadline if a firm has a reasonable excuse for missing that deadline. Any claim after the deadline will need to be made without delay as the reasonable excuse no longer applies.
In the absence of what HMRC deems a ‘reasonable excuse’, firms that file late claims will be unable to secure furlough support for their clients from the government for the upcoming month, which could leave them at risk of financial damage.
Should your clients wish to continue making use of this scheme before the September deadline, we recommend employing a highly organised approach, taking every possible step to work with your client to avoid making a late claim.
Muazzez Acar Cert CII, account executive, Lockton Companies
If you have any questions, please contact your Lockton account manager for further advice or email ACCAaccountants@uk.lockton.com.
Lockton is ACCA’s recommended broker for professional indemnity insurance