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Time limits on furlough claims and reasonable excuses for not meeting them

Time limits on furlough claims and reasonable excuses for not meeting them
Richard Hiron Nov 20,2020
blog post

The rules surrounding the furlough grant continue to develop.

HMRC has updated its guidance with deadlines for submitting claims for specific periods, as below:-

 

Furlough claim period:

Claim must be submitted by:

November 2020

14 December 2020

December 2020

14 January 2021

January 2021

15 February 2021

February 2021

15 March 2021

March 2021

14 April 2021

 

The guidance also states that HMRC may accept a claim made after the relevant deadline if there is a “reasonable excuse” for not making a claim within the appropriate time limit if:-

 

  1. the person submitting the claim took all reasonable care to submit the claim despite the "reasonable excuse"; and
  2. they submitted it as soon as they were able to after missing the deadline.

 

Examples that HMRC has provided of what might constitute a reasonable excuse include:-

 

  • if the partner or another close relative of the person making the claim died shortly before the claim deadline;
  • if the person making the claim had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented them from dealing with their claim;
  • if the person making the claim had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus-related illnesses, which prevented them from making their claim (and no one else could complete the claim for them);
  • if the person making the claim was prevented from making it due to a period of self-isolation (and no one else could make the claim for them);
  • if the computer or software of the person making the claim failed just before or while they were preparing their online claim;
  • if service issues with HMRC online prevented the person from making their claim;
  • if a fire, flood or theft prevented the person from making their claim;
  • if postal delays that could not have been predicted prevented a person from making their claim;
  • if delays related to a disability have prevented the person from making their claim;
  • if an error by HMRC prevented the person from making their claim.

 

Those making claims should note, however, that HMRC will not be considering reasonable excuses before the deadline for making a claim has passed. Therefore, if a delay does occur, be sure to keep a note of the reason for the delay, how long the delay lasted for and actions that you have taken to submit your claim as soon as possible after the deadline has passed.