Investigation Into Furlough Fraud Begins

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is launching an investigation into property firms (and other organisations) to see if any of them have abused the furlough scheme.

One of the ‘frauds’ HMRC is said to be looking into is the abuses of payments made as part of the scheme.

Collyer Bristow has warned that:

“[The] property and construction businesses are firmly in its sights.”

HMRC’s investigation are focused on those businesses from all sectors who have allowed staff to work whilst on furlough, which is not allowed.

New legislation will be introduced shortly which will provide a 90-day amnesty for businesses allowing them to repay furlough money they claimed in ‘error’.

Andrew Granger, partner in Collyer Bristow’s Employment Law team, said:

“The scheme has been a lifeline for many property and construction businesses yet there are reports that is it being abused, for example, by employers asking staff to work whilst on furlough.”

He added:

“With legislation shortly to receive Royal Assent that will introduce a 90-day amnesty allowing businesses to repay furlough money claimed in error without threat of sanction or penalty, HMRC is sending a clear message to businesses – take advantage of this amnesty or face investigation.”

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