The First-tier Tribunal has dismissed an appeal against an assessment to recover payments made under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (Luca Delivery Ltd v HMRC,  UKFTT 278 (TC)).
The payments had been made to an employee (Ms Sator) who had been omitted from the company’s RTI returns because of an oversight by the company’s accountants, SJPR Accountants Ltd (SJPR). Inclusion on the RTI was a condition of the scheme.
In dismissing the appeal the tribunal judged that:
“(1) Ms Sartor was not included in an RTI return made by a “relevant CJRS day” namely 28 February or 19 March 2020, so there was no entitlement to CJRS.
(2) The Tribunal only has the jurisdiction to allow an appeal where the appellant was entitled to CJRS. We cannot allow an appeal where the appellant was not so entitled, even where this was caused by the oversight of a third party, here SJPR.
(3) No correction of the RTI filings had been made, and even had there been such a correction, it would not have changed the position, for the reasons given by Ms Halfpenny. [Ms Halfpenny acted for HMRC and had noted that “entitlement to CJRS depended on an employee being included in a return filed on or before 28 February 2020 and/or 19 March 2020 … and retrospective correction of an oversight or other omission does not change the CJRS position.]
(4) Although Luca may have a claim against SJPR in relation to a failure to include Ms Sartor on the RTI returns from the date her employment began, this Tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to decide claims of that nature, and in particular cannot direct that HMRC recover the overpaid CJRS from SJPR. Moreover, our findings of fact have been made on the basis of the evidence provided for this hearing, and other facts may be relevant in the context of a civil claim against SJPR.”
The appeal had been made late but applying Martland v HMRC  UKUT 178 (TCC) the tribunal gave permission for the appeal to be heard.
Related content from Claritax Books
In Tax Appeals – Law and Practice at the FTT, tax barrister Keith Gordon analyses some 500 precedents to show how the FTT rules are applied in practice, and how taxpayers may use the tribunal system for appealing against tax decisions.