UK businesses return £215m in furlough cash

Firms have voluntarily returned over £215m to the government in furlough scheme payments that were not needed, or taken in error, according to HMRC.

Its latest figures reveal that 80,433 employers have now returned funds they were given to help support employee’s salaries during lockdown and beyond. 

It comes as officials believe that £3.5bn may have been paid out in error, while £35.4bn has been claimed through the scheme until 16 August, the latest date for which statistics are available.

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According to the BBC, HMRC said it “welcomed” businesses that have returned the funds voluntarily. 

While some grants were returned outright, other firms opted to claim smaller payouts the next time they were given furlough cash.

In a statement, HMRC said: “HMRC welcomes those employers who have voluntarily returned CJRS grants to HMRC because they no longer need the grant, or have realised they’ve made errors and followed our guidance on putting things right.

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