The self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) will be open for applications from 13 May.
We outlined the details of the scheme previously which awards contractors and consultants cash based on previous years trading profits.
This week HMRC started to contact those who it believes are entitled to claim a cash grant, telling them to be ready to claim when the portal opens.
We have distributed estimates in previous weeks to our self employed clients but stress that our approximations are limited by the information we have. HMRC will calculate the final amount.
HMRC has appealed to us to help you prepare, but they have imposed a system under which we will not be able to access the SEISS portal to make grant claims on your behalf.
How to recognise genuine HMRC messages
There are already numerous scam texts circulating purporting to be from HMRC or the government to be mindful of. We understand that HMRC will contact you as follows.
- Initial contact is being made by email.
- Or, if the you have no email, HMRC will text message.
- Genuine emails and texts from HMRC do not include an active link to click on; they only tell you to be ready to claim.
Only where HMRC does not hold an email address or mobile phone number for the taxpayer will it send a physical letter, but this letter may arrive later.
Are you eligible?
The fact that you received a message from HMRC does not necessarily mean you meet all the criteria to receive the grant.
HMRC is encouraging taxpayers to use its SEISS eligibility checker tool to check whether they can claim. You need your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) and NI numbers to use the online tool.
Using the tool and providing an email address may speed up the process of the claim. However it is not a requirement.
We will not be able to make claims on your behalf
You may be required to make declarations required as part of the SEISS application, of your intention to continue to trade and whether your business has been adversely affected by the coronavirus. Only you can make such declarations.
As tax agents, Davis Grant cannot use their clients’ credentials to apply for grants on behalf of clients as doing so may trigger HMRC fraud checks and delay payment of the grant.
There will be a telephone-based SEISS grant application service for the digitally excluded to use, but HMRC has not released any details of that yet.
What details will you require?
- Your Self-assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number
- Your National Insurance Number
- Your Government Gateway ID and Password
- Bank account number and sort code for payment
If you have all this information to hand you need to take no further action at this time. If you need to locate any of this information, we recommend you do so as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delay.