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Evidence required as proof of claims under Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

It is becoming increasingly apparent that HMRC are strengthening their stance around auditing of claims for Furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  They have recently changed their tone from “we reserve the right to audit claims” to “we will be now be auditing claims”.

Obviously not everyone will be subject to audit but if you are, you will need all information you have gathered as part of your Furlough claim to hand and not try to find it or cobble it together in say 18 months’ time.

We therefore recommend you check your records and make sure you have:

  • Signed Agreements – from your employees confirming that they have agreed and been furloughed and any new working arrangements you may have in place in respect of flexible furlough.,
  • Other Correspondence – Such as emails, “whatapps” messages etc. relating to your employees on furlough.
  • Your Reasons and Dates for Furlough – Evidence of your dates of furlough and reasons for doing so.  For example copy letters, emails etc. advising employees of Furlough situation, documented decisions in Company meeting minutes/board minutes etc.
  • Your Claim Reference Number –  Make a note of your claims reference number.  When you make a claim – you will not get an email from HMRC so note it down/screen shot it, if your Agent submits the claim, then ask them to send it to you .
  • Your calculations for each employee and the overall claim – again if your Agent does this then get these from them.
  • Return to work notifications – Evidence in the form of  letters, emails etc. advising furloughed employees of return to work.
  • Reasons for having employees work from home – including when/why you decided to bring employees back to work

As the employer it is you who are responsible for making sure you have all the information about your claim, even if you have an Agent doing this for you.

It is recommended that you retain all documentation for at least 5 years.

If you do get audited, it is probable that any over claim will need to be repaid.  However HMRC have stated that they will not claim back or refuse a grant if all calculations and application have been carried out in a reasonable manner – but that may change over time.

As an aside you must also pass on the whole amount of the wages claim to the employee, you cannot keep some back to use for other purposes.

If you need any assistance please contact us:

Sarah Goddard : 07715 822216 or 01229 480676 Email:
Chrissy Tait: 07725 735581 or 01229 821270 Email:


This advice has been issued in line with HMRC,UK Government and ACAS guidance as updated on 27th April 2020.



29th April 2020

“There is evidence to suggest that good HR practice and people management in SMEs are key factors in strong business performance and can lead to increased productivity.”

- CIPD people Skills Project 2017


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