|Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
The online service for claiming under the latest phase of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will open in the next few days.
Customers receiving their personal claim dates
We have begun contacting eligible customers to give them a personal claim date, from which they can make their SEISS claim. We have contacted them either by email, letter or via the online service, depending on what contact details we hold.
Customers can make their claim from this personal claim date in late April, until the claims service closes at 23:59 on 1 June 2021.
Customers should not to claim SEISS before their personal claim date.
A customer who believes they are eligible for the scheme, but are yet to hear from us, should wait until the end of the month before contacting us. We are inviting customers to claim on different days to ensure the system is fast and easy to use, so we can support millions of people quickly and easily.
Contacting ineligible customers
We have also contacted customers who have previously claimed SEISS support but are no longer eligible. There are a number of reasons for ineligibility, for example:
- not filing their 2019-20 Self Assessment return on or before 2 March 2021
- if the information on their 2019-20 Self Assessment return means they no longer meet the eligibility criteria, or
- if they’ve permanently ceased trading.
If a customer believes that we have incorrectly assessed their eligibility, or the amount of their grant, they should follow the advice provided in the email or letter we sent. They will either be asked to log into the claims service using their Government Gateway credentials or, if we consider they are ineligible for the SEISS, they can use the online assistant to find out why. If the customer still needs help after following this advice, they can get support from the COVID-19 helpline.
As before, tax agents should not submit review requests on behalf of their clients, as this can lead to delays. We can only discuss SEISS claims with the individual customer.
Getting customers ready to claim SEISS grants
Customers will be able to claim at any time from their personal claim date in late April until 1 June, at the latest. In order to claim, they will need to log in to their Government Gateway account with their User ID and password. If they do not have a Government Gateway account (for example, customers who are newly self-employed), they should create one now to avoid delaying their claim.
To confirm their eligibility and make their claim, customers will need their:
- National Insurance number: If a customer doesn’t know this, they can go to the HMRC app or access their online Personal Tax Account (PTA).
- Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number: customers can find this on their Self Assessment papers or their PTA.
- Government Gateway user ID and password: To avoid delays, customers should check that they can log in to the Government Gateway before their personal claim date. If a customer doesn’t have an account, or has forgotten their details, they can follow the instructions on GOV.UK. Customers also need to check that their contact details are correct in their Government Gateway account.
- Bank account number and sort code: For a building society account, customers should include the roll number, if they have one.
We will also ask for the address that the customer’s bank or building society account is registered to. Please note this is the customer’s address – most likely their home or business premises – not the address of their bank or building society.
As with previous SEISS grants, tax agents cannot make a claim on behalf of their clients, or use their log in details, as this will trigger a fraud alert and result in significant delays to their client receiving payment. We are grateful for tax agents continued support in helping their clients to understand the eligibility criteria, and for getting their eligible clients ready to submit their claims personally.
Customers are also required to keep appropriate records as evidence of the impact on their business.
If a customer hasn’t claimed before
If this is a customer’s first time claiming a SEISS grant, they may be asked additional questions to prove their identity.
Questions could relate to any of the following:
- their UK passport
- information held on their credit file (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
- their Self Assessment tax return (within the last three years)
- their tax credit claim
- their P60
- one of their three most recent payslips.
Customers should ensure they have this information ready when making their claim. Their claim may be delayed if they cannot answer the identity verification questions.
In order to claim the fourth grant, customers must reasonably believe that they’ll suffer a significant reduction in trading profits, due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021. They must keep evidence that shows how their business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.
HMRC expects customers applying for SEISS 4 to make an honest assessment about whether they reasonably believe their business will have a significant reduction in profits.
Before making a claim, a customer must decide if the impact on their business between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021 will cause a significant reduction in their trading profits for the tax year they report them in.
HMRC cannot make this decision for the customer because individual and wider business circumstances will need to be considered when deciding whether the reduction is significant.
Customers should wait until they have a reasonable belief that their trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before they make their claim.
Customers do not have to consider any other coronavirus scheme support payments that they have received when deciding if they’ve had a significant reduction in their trading profits.
There are some examples that customers can use to help them decide.
Amendments to 2019-20 SA returns after 3 March 2021
If a customer makes, or has made, an amendment to their 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 or 2019-20 tax return on or after 3 March 2021, HMRC must be notified within 90 days if the amendment either:
- lowers the amount of SEISS grant the customer is eligible for
- causes the customer to no longer be eligible for a SEISS grant.
The customer may need to pay back some or all of the grant. If we are not notified, we will contact the customer after the deadline for making amendments to tell them what amount they may need to pay back.
If HMRC is not notified within 90 days, the customer may also have to pay a penalty.
HMRC does not need to be notified if either:
- the amount they’re eligible for is lowered by £100 or less
- they are no longer eligible and the grant they received was £100 or less.
If a customer is not sure the grant amount has been reduced, they should contact HMRC for further help.