HMRC confirmed through their Employer Bulletin in October that employers are submitting claims to either the Apprenticeship Levy and/or the Employment Allowance that may be incorrect and in some cases both. The Apprenticeship Levy and the Employment Allowance have a number of eligibility criteria that prevent PAYE schemes/employers from claiming the annual allowances. As such the Bulletin included guidance relating to the eligibility rules surrounding both the apprenticeship levy and the employer allowance.
Both the Apprenticeship Levy and the Employment Allowance eligibility rules will impact employers differently depending on the size and nature of your business. For example, both the Apprenticeship Levy and Employment Allowance eligibility rules restrict the allowance to “connected party” employers. If you are an employer that is part of a larger group of companies, it is essential that your group has a clear and robust policy on which PAYE scheme will make a claim to the allowances so that you claim only the allowance(s) that you are entitled.
If you currently claim either of these allowances, HMRC recommend you check your eligibility again just to make sure you have claimed correctly. HMRC will also send Generic Notification Service (GNS) messages to prompt employers to conduct an internal review of their allowance claiming policy, and If an employer discovers they have claimed incorrectly then they should correct any errors as soon as possible and repay the sums claimed in error.
Details can be found in the bulletin.