Guidance

Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back

Find out how to pay all or some of your grant back if you’ve overclaimed, or if you do not need the grant and want to make a voluntary repayment.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closed on 30 September 2021.

You must get a payment reference number and pay HMRC back within 30 days, if you:

  • have claimed too much through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • would like to make a voluntary repayment (because you do not want or need the grant to pay your employees’ wages, tax and National Insurance and pension contributions)

How to pay

You must use the online service to get your payment reference number before you can pay HMRC back. You should only do this if you’re not making another claim.

Your payment may be delayed if you use the wrong reference number.

Pay by online or telephone banking, CHAPS and Bacs

You can pay by Faster Payments, CHAPS or Bacs to HMRC’s account.

Sort code Account number Account name
08 32 10 12001039 HMRC Cumbernauld

Payments by:

  • Faster Payments (online or telephone banking) usually reach HMRC on the same or next day, including weekends and bank holidays
  • CHAPS usually reach HMRC the same working day if you pay within your bank’s processing times
  • Bacs usually take 3 working days

Pay by card

You can also pay by debit card or corporate credit card.

If you’ve overclaimed

If you’ve overclaimed a grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HMRC by the latest of (one of the following):

  • 90 days after the date you received the grant you were not entitled to
  • 90 days after the date you received the grant that you were no longer entitled to keep because your circumstances changed
  • 20 October 2020

If you do not do this, you may have to pay a penalty. If you do repay any overclaimed grant, this will prevent any potential tax liability in respect of the overpayment of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We will not be actively looking for innocent errors in our compliance approach.

Find out more about when you may have to pay a penalty and other information, including:

  • how HMRC decides how much the penalty will be
  • when HMRC will not charge a penalty
  • how to appeal against a penalty

Offset an amount you’ve overclaimed

When working out the amount you’ve overclaimed for in a claim period, you can include all employees in that single claim period.

This means if you’ve overclaimed for one employee, you can offset this by an amount, equal to any amounts that you’ve underclaimed for another employee included in the same claim period. You cannot offset an overclaim made in one claim period against an underclaim from another claim period.

Where you have underclaimed for any employee, you must make that value good to the employee. This is because it is a requirement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that the employee receives a minimum of 80% of reference pay.

You must repay any balancing overclaim after offsets for any period to HMRC.

Example of offsetting an amount you’ve overclaimed

A Ltd claimed £4,000 for 1 June 2021 to 30 June 2021. This comprised of £2,000 for Employee 1 and £2,000 for Employee 2.

A Ltd reviewed the claim after the amendment deadline and identified that Employee 1 should have received £2,500 and Employee 2 should have received £1,500.

The £500 overclaim for Employee 1 can be offset against the £500 underclaim for Employee 2. This means A Ltd does not have an overclaim for the period from 1 June 2021 to 30 June 2021 as long as they pay Employee 1 the additional £500 they should have received in respect of that period.

Published 26 June 2020
Last updated 29 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Information updated because the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme ended on 30 September. Information added about when you must get a payment reference number and pay HMRC back.

  2. 'Offset an amount you’ve overclaimed' section added.

  3. New section added called 'How to correct overclaims in your next claim'.

  4. Claims for furlough days in May 2021 must be made by 14 June 2021.

  5. Claims for furlough days in April 2021 must be made by 14 May 2021.

  6. Updated to show that the scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021.

  7. Claims for furlough days in February 2021 must be made by 15 March 2021.

  8. Added translation

  9. Claim deadline for furlough days in January 2021 added. Claims must be made by 15 February 2021.

  10. Added Welsh translation.

  11. Updated to reflect that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to 30 April 2021.

  12. The scheme has been extended. 30 November 2020 is the last day employers can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

  13. The guidance from 'If you've claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' has been moved to this guide. This guide has also been updated with links to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme repayment service.

  14. Welsh translation has been added.

  15. First published.