Update: June 2020
This service has now been extended for a further three months (June – August inclusive). See our insight Chancellor extends Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to August for further details.
Further to our previous article on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), HMRC has announced that an online service will be available from 13 May 2020 to enable claims to be made. Payments should be made within six working days of a submission.
HMRC has already started contacting taxpayers who they believe may be entitled to make a claim. Each taxpayer will receive one form of contact:
To guard against fraud, no emails or SMS messages from HMRC will include active links. If a taxpayer receives an email or SMS message purporting to come from HMRC which includes an active link, that email or SMS will be a scam.
In a call with HMRC and agents on 7 May 2020, it was confirmed that only taxpayers, and not their agents, will be able to make a claim. Agents can help taxpayers understand and check the entitlement calculations that HMRC has made.
In order for taxpayers to make the claim, they will need a Government Gateway User ID and password, as well as be able to confirm to HMRC that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, for example the business being unable to trade completely or fewer numbers of customers and clients.
Some taxpayers, who are used to getting help from agents, may not have a Government Gateway ID. HMRC is encouraging taxpayers to sign up for such an ID, and say that it should only take 10 minutes from the start of an application for the SEISS to obtain an ID and register your claim. The process can be started at the following link.
For taxpayers who are unable to apply for a Gateway ID, or do not wish to, there will be a HMRC telephone number to call to make the claim, although the details have not yet been provided.
HMRC will also not be checking state aid limits, so businesses in receipt of other grant funding or who benefit under government backed schemes will need to check their position carefully. The SEISS grant is also not available to those operating a trade through a trust.
At the moment, the scheme can provide taxable grants of up to £7,500 for those who meet the qualifying conditions.
In the call with HMRC, it was acknowledged that some taxpayers had missed out on the availability of the SEISS grant, such as the newly self-employed and those earning more than £50,000, but that difficult decisions had to be made in the interests of the taxpayer, time, and a workable system that could not be subject to fraud. The SEISS, along with other COVID Government support, will be reviewed in due course to see how improvements might be made.
If you need any help with making, or reviewing, your claim, please contact your usual Crowe contact.
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