Coronavirus: Self Employed Income Support Scheme Update…
HMRC has begun contacting taxpayers who may be eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) this week. The communication received from HMRC includes instructions for when the claim portal opens.
Do not worry if you have not yet received communication from HMRC. Information is expected to be received by email, SMS or post and whilst many are expected to arrive week commencing 4 May, some letters may not be received until the following week.
Please note that no form of electronic communication from HMRC will ask you to follow a link, see our blog post on phishing emails for common scams appearing during the coronavirus crisis.
Unfortunately, receiving communication from HMRC does not necessarily mean you are eligible for SEISS. Whilst HMRC can check historic information from submitted tax returns they may not be aware whether the following conditions for the scheme are met:
- Did you trade in the tax year 2019/20?
- Are you currently trading or would be were it not for Coronavirus?
- Do you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/21; and
- Have you lost trading profits due to coronavirus.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for SEISS please see our earlier blog on SEISS
Or use the eligibility checker from HMRC – www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference
If the checker advises you are not eligible there is an option to ask HMRC to review eligibility. Please contact us if you would like assistance with this.
How to apply
Applications will begin to be made between 13 and 18 May, with the portal opening on different days for different taxpayers. HMRC will email taxpayers who have provided an email address (when using the eligibility checker or previously) to confirm when the portal is open for them. Taxpayers can also use the eligibility checker above to find out whether the application portal is open for them.
Taxpayers then log in to their government gateway account (or select the option to create an account) to complete the application process.
You will be asked to:
- read and accept the eligibility criteria;
- complete declarations, including to confirm that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus; and
- supply the bank account details into which they would like the grant to be paid.
You do not need to provide any information about your income – the calculations are all done by HMRC based on the tax returns submitted.
HMRC states that it expects to make payments from 25 May 2020 within six working days of the application being submitted.
Whilst Sowerby as agents can provide help and support with making this claim and can use the eligibility checker it is only the taxpayer who can submit the claim. HMRC have stated that they have given serious consideration to how they could allow agents to make claims on behalf of clients, but it has not proved possible in the limited time available to develop the system and given the limited one off nature of the scheme.
However, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about this or any other business matters.