We’re bracing ourselves for an onslaught of HMRC enquiries into those suspected of overclaiming the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grant (SEISS).
With the fourth SEISS grant claim period recently closed and the 5th claim period opening in July, HMRC is inviting taxpayers to notify and repay any amounts overclaimed to date.
HMRC aims to make it as easy as possible for taxpayers to make repayments, whether voluntarily or because too much has been claimed in error.
As HMRC made the payments to taxpayers, it will be checking the conditions are met, partly by referring to amounts reported on the Self-Assessment tax return as compared to pre-Covid trading period.
Informing HMRC if you were ineligible when you made the claim
The rules are different depending on which claim you made.
First & second claims – to be eligible, your business had to be adversely affected by Covid.
Third & fourth claims – to be eligible, the business had to be impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand. This could translate as fewer customers than normal due to government restrictions, one or more contracts cancelled without replacement or perhaps supply chain disruptions meant less work was carried out.
In addition, when making all claims, your business should have intended to carry on trading and not be incorporated.
When to tell HMRC if you must pay back the grant
In most cases this is within 90 days of receiving the grant. The rules are different in the case of the fourth grant if an amended return has affected eligibility.
What happens if I don’t repay amounts I wasn’t entitled to?
HMRC will write to you to recover the grant and send you an assessment. You may also face a penalty.
How do I repay SEISS grants to HMRC?
Go to gov.uk and search for Tell HMRC and pay the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant back. Link here
You will need you:
Government Gateway ID and password
Grant claim reference (on your grant letter)
Self-Assessment Unique Tax Reference
Please contact Nicola Hawkins for further guidance on the SEISS grant. Our tax specialists are here to help you stay tax compliant and optimise your tax position. Call 01527 558539.