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Updated guidance on the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Updated: 05 May 2020

It appears that the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is about to launch ahead of schedule. However, it has become apparent that there are some preparatory matters to deal with in order to ensure claims can be made in good time and are successful.

Emails, SMS messages and letters are being sent to taxpayers who HMRC thinks may be entitled to claim an SEISS grant. These are expected to arrive during the week beginning 4 May 2020, some letters may not be received until the following week.

Note that to guard against fraud the emails and SMS messages from HMRC do not include active links. If a you receive an email or SMS purporting to come HMRC which includes an active link, that email or SMS is a scam and you should delete it.

For those taxpayers that meet the criteria, the SEISS provides a taxable grant of 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid in a single instalment of up to a total of £7,500. See the link at the foot of this page for the full current guidance from GOV.UK that also details the qualifying criteria.

Below we set out how to check your eligibility and how to make a claim.

Note that, in their wisdom, the government have decided that agents will NOT be able to make claims on behalf of their clients.

How to check if you are eligible

Search GOV‌.UK for ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ from today, or, click HERE:

To complete this eligibility check, you’ll need to have your:

  1. National Insurance number – if you don’t know this, go to the HMRC app, your online tax account or ask us.
  2. Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number – you can find this on your self assessment papers or, again, ask us.

If HMRC confirm you are eligible, you’ll then need yourGovernment Gateway user ID and password* – if you don’t have an account, or have forgotten your details, follow the instructions on GOV‌.UK by searching for the ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’. Please check your contact details are correct in your Government Gateway account.

*A lot of taxpayers, who rely on their agents, will not have a government gateway account in place at this time. However, once you have completed the eligibility checker, the system will then ask whether or not you have an online account. If you select “no”, you will be taken to a page where you can create one.

Alternatively, it is possible to create an account quite quickly by following the instructions above, or, by following the link HERE. Click on register for a “Personal Tax Account”, and then select “Create an account”.

If you have any problems please give us a call.

You cannot access the financial support yet. Applications will open to taxpayers on a staged basis between 13 and 18 May, with the portal opening on different days for different taxpayers i.e. NOT on a first come, first served basis. 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 to find out whether the application portal is open for them.

How to make a claim

You will need to make the claim yourself, although you can seek advice from us if you need assistance (although bear in mind that we will not have seen the claim portal).

Once HMRC have contacted you with your claim date, please follow these simple steps to make your claim:

Log in to your government gateway account (or select the option to create an account). You will be presented with a detailed calculation and will be asked to:

  • read and accept the eligibility criteria;
  • complete declarations, including to confirm that the business has been adversely affected by coronavirus; and
  • supply the bank account details into which you would like the grant to be paid.

You will not be required to provide any information about your income – the calculations are all done by HMRC based on the tax returns submitted. HMRC will check the claim and expects to make payments from 25 May 2020 within six working days of the application being submitted. 

Please contact us if you require any assistance by email to your usual contact or by phone on 01628 475455.

Link to the full HMRC guidance:

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