Coronavirus support scheme overpayment penalty guidance issued by HMRC

HMRC have issued guidance on penalties that might be incurred where there is failure to notify of an overpayment made under certain coronavirus support schemes, the following schemes are included: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

Failure to notify if you have received a coronavirus support payment that you are not entitled to can lead to penalties from HMRC. The notification period for each scheme is as follows:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – 90 days after the date the overpayment was received or after the date you were no longer entitled to the payment, due to either a change in circumstances or you have not used the payment for the intended purposes
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – 90 days after the overpayment was received
  • Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – 90 days after the overpayment was received

A penalty may be incurred if you fail to notify HMRC or do not notify them within the stated time frame however, there are exemptions where you will not be charged a penalty if the following apply:

  • Have a reasonable excuse for not notifying HMRC of overpayment
  • It was not deliberate
  • Notified HMRC without unreasonable delay after reasonable excuse ended

The reasonable excuse provisions do not apply if you deliberately failed to notify HMRC however, penalties can be reduced depending on how cooperative you are with HMRC.

The penalty charge is worked out by calculating the potential lost revenue and multiplying it by the penalty percentage rate. For further information on how the penalty charge is calculated visit the government website.

If you have any queries relating to the penalty guidance, get in touch via our contact page and we will be more than happy to help.



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Emily Dodds

Emily Dodds

Marketing and Business Development Officer

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