Important information on the new HMRC online Portal

HMRC Online Portal

The following is information from the Parliamentary Select Committee on 8th April 2020, where Jim Harra, Permanent Secretary of HMRC gave an overview of the new HMRC online portal that will be used to claim back the 80% for staff on furlough.

  • Confirmation that the new portal has been built from scratch and is currently being tested using large volume of data from a select number of large companies.
  • The new online portal will be available to use on 20th April with first payments being made on 30th April 2020.
  • Generally, payments will take 4-6 days to process – this is due to the checks that are required after the claim has been received.
  • HMRC say the new portal can process a large number (hundreds of thousands) of claims per hour.
  • A guidance document will be sent out some time next week.
  • HMRC has confirmed there are no plans to extend the scheme to include starters after 28th February 2020.
  • HMRC have said they are very aware that the system is open to abuse and have put strict measures in place for this. This will particularly be the case where employers are claiming the 80% but still asking their employees to work.
  • They are setting up a helpline so that employees can query the possible fraudulent practices of their employers and report them.
  • HMRC have allocated 5000 staff to this: 2000 to the helpline and 3000 to investigate abuse.
  • If employers have been found to have abused the system, they just wont get paid. It is also suggested that fraudulent claims may result in criminal proceedings.
  • Due to the fact the Government guidance requires employers to put furlough arrangements in writing and kept for 5 years, suggests that HMRC intend to carry out their checks for a long long time.

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