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Firms rejected for CJRS due to tax debt urged to reapply

1 May: Some organisations have been incorrectly refused support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) due to tax arrears and should reapply, HMRC confirms, as ONS data shows CJRS is most popular support scheme.

In insolvency guidance published on 30 April, HMRC has apologised for the distress that may have been caused by the rejection of some employers for grants under the CJRS and has urged organisations to reapply.

HMRC has confirmed that employers with tax arrears should not have been rejected for support and it has updated its guidance and advised its staff to “ensure that there’s no repeat of the situation”.

The news came as the Office for National Statistics revealed that two-thirds of UK businesses it surveyed were planning to apply for the CJRS, making it by far the most popular support mechanism from the government.

On 30 April, the ONS published the latest results from its bi-weekly survey asking firms about the impacts of COVID-19. It found that 66% of the more than 5,000 businesses that responded said they had applied for the scheme, while 56% had applied to defer VAT payments.

The survey, which ran until 27 April, also revealed that at that stage only 20% of those surveyed confirmed they had received their CJRS grant and 42% confirmed that they had received support from the scheme deferring VAT payments.