In Digital Buying Partners Limited v HMRC [2024] TC09116, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) rejected a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claim. The employees were deemed ineligible for CJRS payments because they were not included in an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.


  • Digital Buying Partners Limited (DBP) made claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
  • The CJRS claim included claims for two employees who were not included in any Real-Time Information (RTI) returns submitted to HMRC on or before 19 March 2020 (the cut-off date for qualifying employment).
  • HMRC issued an Assessment, claiming that the failure to include the employees in RTI returns submitted on or before 19 March 2020 meant that the payments made to the employees did not count as qualifying costs.
  • DBP Appealed the assessment, arguing that there had been a reasonable excuse for the failure and that it would be ‘unfair’ to deny the CJRS claim.

The FTT found that:

  • One of the conditions for CJRS payment (First Direction) was that the employee must have been included in an RTI return on or before 19 March 2020. 
  • The failure to include the CJRS employees in the RTI return meant that the payments to the CJRS employees did not count as qualifying costs.
  • The FTT found that it did not need to consider the circumstances leading to the failure. It is clear from previous cases that CJRS payments could not be made, even where employees were employed before 19 March 2020, where those employees had not been shown on any RTI return on or before 19 March 2020. See, Carlick Contract Furniture Limited v HMRC [2022]Oral Healthcare Limited v Revenue and Customs [2023] and Luca Delivery Limited v HMRC [2023].

The FTT dismissed the appeal.

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

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COVID-19: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to 31 October 2020
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In Luca Delivery Limited v HMRC [2023] TC8752, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) heard an appeal against a reclaim of a cash grant paid under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). It found that failure to meet the scheme conditions was due to a mistake by the taxpayer’s accountants and that was no defence. It did not allow the claim to be validated.

CJRS to be repaid: employees were not added to RTI
In Oral Healthcare Limited v HMRC [2023] TC8781, a company had to repay £35,739 after it failed to meet the conditions of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Employees were employed in March 2020 but were not added to PAYE RTI submissions until after the 19 March cut-off deadline.

FTT reluctantly denies CJRS claim
In Carlick Contract Furniture Limited v HMRC [2022] TC08543, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) ruled that Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims for two employees were not qualifying costs, whilst acknowledging that denying the claims seemed to be contrary to the spirit of the scheme.

External Links

Digital Buying Partners Limited V HMRC [2024] TC09116