Furlough applications blocked over fraud fears

Thousands of furlough applications have been blocked by the taxman due to fears they are fraudulent. 

More than 30,000 applications for the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – which has paid 80 per cent of staff salaries since March – have been rejected by HM Revenue & Customs. 

As of the end of June, 1,526 of these were turned down because the firms applying had ceased trading, the Times reported. 

Holding the purse strings: More than 30,000 applications for the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been rejected by HMRC

Holding the purse strings: More than 30,000 applications for the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been rejected by HMRC

Holding the purse strings: More than 30,000 applications for the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been rejected by HMRC

A further 23,899 were blocked because the companies applying had no staff on their payroll for the 2019-20 financial year. 

In July, HMRC made its first arrest relating to furlough fraud, a 57-year-old in the West Midlands suspected of cheating the taxpayer out of £495,000.

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