HMRC publish list of businesses claiming furlough money
Towards the end of last month, the Government released an excel spreadsheet showing a list of all those businesses that claimed furlough grant monies through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Scheme) from 1 December 2020 onwards.
The spreadsheet only confirms the identities of those businesses that have claimed from 1 December 2020. It does not list the value of those claims. Whilst some have suggested that this is chiefly aimed at shaming those larger businesses who have claimed through the Scheme and discouraging future claims, the Government have contended that they are doing this in order to meet transparency commitments as well as to deter fraudulent claims.
Towards the end of 2020 the Government’s hotline for furlough fraud received more than 20,000 tip offs and HMRC estimated that up to £3.5 billion was claimed from the Scheme fraudulently.
Going forward, the Government will be publishing monthly data on claims made by businesses, together with an indication of the value of each of these claims (within a banded range). The lists will also include the company registration numbers for those businesses operating as limited companies or limited liability partnerships.
You can request that HMRC do not publish details about a claim but only where the you can show evidence that publishing that data would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to you, anyone you live with or an individual associated with your business or anyone living with them (including employees).