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ICAEW warns taxpayers have 90 days to notify HMRC of overclaimed COVID-19 grants

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has warned taxpayers that they have 90 days to notify HMRC of overclaimed coronavirus (COVID-19) grants.

The 90-day period to inform HMRC of any overclaimed amounts is now law: Finance Act 2020 recently received Royal Assent, which confirms the taxability of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), as well as the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and COVID-19 business support grants.

Finance Act 2020 also gives HMRC the power to recover grant payments if a recipient is not entitled to them, as well as the ability to charge penalties.

The law states that the onus is on the taxpayer to notify HMRC if they have overclaimed COVID-19 grants. A taxpayer who has overclaimed a grant and not repaid it must notify HMRC by the latest of either:

  • 90 days after the date they received the grant they were not entitled to
  • 90 days after the date they received the grant that they were no longer entitled to keep because their circumstances changed
  • 20 October 2020.

HMRC has published guidance on how to repay overclaimed COVID-19 grants – this can be found here.