HMRC have published their interim evaluations of the COVID-19 CJRS and SEISS schemes. These have been followed by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) who have launched an inquiry entitled COVID-19 Employment Support Schemes which will also review their effectiveness.

HMRC have released their interim evaluations into COVID-19 support payments under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The interim evaluation into CJRS found that:

  • Delivery was fast and efficient and reached employers in need of support.
  • The scheme was understandable and easy to use.
  • The scheme struck a balance between speed of support and mitigating fraud.
  • CJRS saved millions of jobs and employers by supporting income.
  • Scheme adaptions changed employer behaviour.

The interim report into SEISS found that:

  • Financial support was provided quickly to self-employed individuals.
  • While self-assessment data helped calculate levels of support and manage fraud, information shortfalls constrained the scheme’s scope.
  • SEIS was easy to understand and claim.
  • While many self-employed individuals were supported, the outcomes varied significantly.
  • SEISS prevented some businesses from closing.

Final evaluations into are expected in 2023.

The PAC inquiry followed on 14 October and will question senior officials at HMRC to ascertain how successful the schemes were at:

  • Supporting incomes and the labour market,
  • Reaching those that needed support,
  • How the schemes were managed and delivered,
  • How value for taxpayer money was improved.
  • How the risk of error and fraud was managed,
  • How HMRC estimated levels of error and fraud.
  • How HMRC have detected error and fraud.

Other input is sought from stakeholders, submissions can be made here.

Responses should be submitted by 4 November.

Useful guides on this topic

COVID-19: Taxation of coronavirus support payments
This guide summarises the tax treatment of grants paid during the Coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19
COVID-19 zone: all about tax and financial support during the crisis.

External links

Covid-19 Employment Support Schemes Inquiry

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme interim evaluation

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme interim evaluation


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