As the deadline approaches for the submission of annual tax returns it has emerged that some businesses are realising that they have claimed incorrectly for covid support.

Law firm Pinsent Masons has analysed data that showed around twenty-five professional services partnerships have admitted to overclaiming furlough, with the total amount wrongly claimed coming to £309,588.

It is not surprising given the various modifications that were made to the scheme during the height of the pandemic, they suggest. It is also likely that these numbers will increase as more returns are submitted.

According to HMRC there are over 1,200 staff currently investigating 23,000 cases of suspected fraudulent Covid claims.

It says “Work to recover fraud and error began almost as soon as the schemes launched. We recovered £500 million of overpayments in 2020 to 2021”.

Do you know whether your business has claimed legitimately for covid support?

At a time when businesses are facing rising energy, payroll and materials costs and are still a long way from being back to normal operations the last thing you need is to be adding to the financial burden is having to pay back wrongly-claimed moneys.

Can your accountant help you? It is worth getting them to check the fine print of any claims you have made and verifying that they were legitimate before you put in your tax return. An early warning is always better than a sudden shock!

If you have been using our free, downloadable cash management tool you should be able to give your accountants a clear financial picture of the state of your business.

It’s available free here.

Cash management is going to be essential in helping businesses to both know where they are in 2022 and to help them move forward.

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