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Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Update 7 May 2020

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Update 7 May 2020

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Update 7 May 2020

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

HMRC is opening up the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) next week, and we give below details of how you can apply. The Bounce Back Loan scheme also went live on Monday 4 May, and we have details of the qualifying conditions. Very small clients may be eligible for new discretionary grants from local authorities. Finally, there are two VAT rate changes which came into effect on 1 May 2020.

SEISS opens up:

You may have already received a text or email from HMRC telling them to get ready to claim the SEISS grant. These communications do not include a live link to click on, so if the text/ email does include a live link it is a scam.

The SEISS portal will open next week, but not on the same day for every taxpayer. HMRC is allocating a specific opening day for each taxpayer between 13 and 18 May, and will inform the taxpayer by email, text or letter. This staggered opening is presumably to avoid the system becoming overloaded.

Only the taxpayer can make the SEISS claim for their business, we cannot do this for them as agent access has not been built into system. The reason given for excluding agents is that it would have taken too long to build that functionality into the  system, and it was important to get the grants to self-employed taxpayers as soon as possible.

The application process is not complicated, but it does require access to the internet. HMRC has said it will provide a telephone-based application service, but there are no details of that yet.

The taxpayer will need all of the following to hand in order to apply for the SEISS grant:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number;
  • National Insurance number;
  • Government Gateway user ID and password (this can be applied for at stage 1 of the grant application);
  • Bank account number and sort code you want the grant into (only a bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted);
You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.

No figures of profit are required to be submitted as HMRC already has all that information. However, the taxpayer will have to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by the coronavirus, and that they intend to continue to trade in 2020/21.

HMRC is encouraging taxpayers, and tax agents, to use the SEISS eligibility checking tool. This asks for the taxpayer’s NI and UTR numbers, then interrogates the HMRC records to see if he has submitted tax returns reporting average profits of no more than £50,000. The tool then confirms whether the taxpayer is eligible to apply for SEISS or not.

However, the checking tool is generating a lot of errors, and you can ask for a review if you get a nonsense result. When you apply for the SEISS grant please forward the resulting calculation for us to check or appeal.

Once HMRC has accepted the claim the money should arrive in your bank account within 6 working days.

Click the following links for further help:

SEISS guidance

SEISS eligibility checker tool

SEISS direction