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Agent authorisation for COVID-19 scheme compliance checks

19 October 2020: HMRC has confirmed to ICAEW’s Tax Faculty why additional agent authorisation is required for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) compliance checks.

Agents who have filed CJRS claims on behalf of clients have been puzzled why HMRC is asking for a completed COMP1 authorisation form before dealing with correspondence on repaying overclaimed CJRS grants.

HMRC has confirmed that additional authorisation is required is because overclaimed CJRS grants are recovered by way of an income tax charge, even where the employer is a company and 64-8s completed by companies do not usually authorise the agent for income tax.

Additional authorisation should not be needed where the employer that overclaimed a CJRS grant is a sole trader or partnership or for correspondence about overclaimed Self-employment Income Support Scheme grants. In these cases, agent authorisation for income tax will usually already be in place.