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SEISS Update for the self employed: HMRC invitations, the online checker and agent’s involvement

06 May 2020

Ahead of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) claims portal opening next week, HMRC have been contacting self employed taxpayers inviting them to check their eligibility and advising them to be prepared and ready to claim. 

  • Unlike the furlough scheme, the claims can only be made by the taxpayers (see below the information needed by the taxpayer to make their claim).
  • Absent email and mobile details HMRC will be sending invitation letters for the scheme but this will clearly delay the claims process.
  • Using the online checker is useful not only to check eligibility it also provides an opportunity to provide HMRC with correct up to date contact information for the taxpayer which, will be used by HMRC to invite the SEISS claims to be made next week. 
  • The online checker will give the taxpayer the date that they will be invited to apply (between the 13 and 18 May).
  • If a negative result is obtained on the checker, then HMRC can be asked to review the case if this decision is to be challenged.  See below for known issues already with the online checker tool.

Clients with income over £50,000 in 2018/19.

We are aware that the online checker is rejecting some clients where 18/19 income is over £50k, yet their average income for the three years to 5/4/2019 is below £50k.  The criteria (or specifically the profit test) for the SEISS scheme, is met if either 18/19 or the average calculation is under £50k.  These rejections should be challenged.

Making a claim

HMRC have confirmed that in order to make the claim, the taxpayer will need to hand the following:

  • Self Assessment UTR
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • Bank account number and sort code for the grant (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • Confirmation to HMRC that the business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.

Link to the online checker:

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