Some self-employed workers were sent an email last month from HMRC asking them to prove they are still trading before they can claim any further SEISS grants before 22nd March, if HMRC do not receive a response then then they state the tax payer will not be able to receive any further SEISS grants. Even if you have responded, they advise that future SEISS claims may be delayed whilst HMRC check the information you provide.
The SEISS grant is only available if work was stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has since been restarted.
Tax agents have not been included in the e mail so we were unaware of this. It is also possible that the recipients may have missed this important communication or with so many HMRC scams it could have been dismissed as a scammer.
The e mail from HMRC states that their records show you have claimed a SEISS grant but on your tax return from either 2018-19 or 2019-20 indicated that you had stopped trading therefore you are not eligible for the grant and may need to repay any money received. It goes on to say that to be eligible for SEISS, you must have:
- Carried on a trade in all tax years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-21
- Intended to continue your trade in 2020-21 at the time you made your SEISS claim
Anyone claiming the SEISS grant is urged to check their e mail account in case they have received the e mail and not acted on it. If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria, HMRC have stated you must:
- Contact them to provide evidence of your trade using email@example.com
- Include your self-assessment UTR (Unique Taxpayer reference) used to make the claim OR your SEISS claim reference
- Ensure you are registered for Self-Assessment
Suggested evidence of trade include:
- Evidence of business transactions
- Contractual agreement(s) to provide goods or services
- Evidence of payments through a business bank account
- Advertising material
If you believe you have not made the criteria then you must:
- Search for 'pay back SEISS' on Giv.uk or click here to be taken to the website.
They note that if it has been over 90 days since you received the grant then you may receive a penalty.
HMRC phonelines are incredibly busy at the moment and they have advised to avoid calling if possible, however if you need to speak to someone, call the COVID helpline on 0800 024 1222.