So what do I mean about “Corona-aid”. The facts are the last 3 months have been extremely expensive times for the tax-man and a combination of people not paying tax (think VAT holidays, 80% wages and corporation tax delays) plus huge payments out of furlough wages and guaranteed support to companies and the self-employed, this has led to an immense black-hole in the public purse, the likes of which we have NEVER seen before!
HMRC have taken a “pay now and ask questions later” but anyone that thinks this is in any way “free-money” they should think twice as HMRC will have years to “get their revenge”!
The biggest two schemes that I think will come under scrutiny first are the furlough scheme itself and the SEISS (for the self-employed). The Government has now introduced new legislation that allows anyone whom’ has made “mistakes” on their applications, as long as they repay the cash then all will be forgiven and I suspect this is the beginning.
Where you do not “self-report a mistake”, the same legislation referenced above will give HMRC the powers to not only recover the help paid but also apply a tax charge of up to 100%. – Wow!
I expect HMRC to be very determined in their approach and the key will be the records you keep, bear in mind their “revenge” could be a very slow burn indeed (up to 7 years). If you have received any Government assistance, get your records in order as my feeling is you will need it at some point soon!