Checks Begin on Eat Out to Help Out

HMRC is beginning to check Eat Out to Help Out claims and have begun by writing to 4,000 businesses where they state: “our records suggest that they may have made an incorrect claim”.

More than 84,000 food and drink establishments participated in The Eat Out to Help Out (“EOTHO“) scheme during August 2020. HMRC paid restaurants within 5 working days.

Now the taxman is checking those claims to recover money paid out incorrectly. They have written to 4,000 businesses asking them to check their claims are correct. The businesses have 60 days to reply; or HM Revenue and Customs will start a formal Compliance Check. Where incorrect claims have been made and this is now disclosed, and repayments made, HMRC will not charge a penalty for the error. But if they have to investigate and discover the errors themselves, then interest and penalties will be charged.

HMRC list 4 common reasons for incorrect claims:
• claiming for more EOTHO payments than you were entitled to – this is based on the information HMRC holds about your business, the amounts claimed and the data it has about the payments you have received by credit and debit card;
• one or more EOTHO claims do not appear to be consistent with other EOTHO claims you have made;
• not met the conditions to claim or receive EOTHO payments;
• other compliance risks that were noted when you made a manual claim for EOTHO.

What does this mean for me?
If your business claimed under this scheme you need to check that amounts claimed were correct. If they were wrong, you need to disclose this to HMRC and repay the money before they investigate you.;

How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Specialists help me?
Our Tax Disclosure Experts have a massive amount of experience in helping people make disclosures effectively and efficiently to HMRC. We can help you do this quickly and correctly: in order to avoid penalties, and even potential prosecution.

For a free initial consultation call today:
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown: 0771 877 8710