This week HMRC have started contacting self-employed customers who HMRC think could be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), based on the information provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return. They are inviting customers to use their online checker which will quickly confirm whether they are eligible and will give customers a specific date from which they can make a claim.
How we can help you
1) Ensuring you are aware you may be eligible
2) Helping you to find the details you need using the online eligibility checker on your behalf (or supporting you to use it yourselves)
3) Talking you through why you may or may not be eligible.
As an agent we won’t be able to make a claim on behalf of our clients.
Designing a scheme that enabled agents to apply on behalf of clients would have taken substantially longer to deliver, at a time when speed is the priority. Instead, HMRC have designed the scheme to be as simple as possible for customers to use, and they will calculate the amount a customer is entitled to based on the information they already hold.
How to use the checker
To use the online checker, you or us as your Accountant, on your behalf, will need the Individual’s Unique Taxpayer Reference Number and National Insurance Number. If you are eligible, you will be given a date, between 13 and 18 May, from which you can apply. This date is assigned randomly to help HMRC manage demand on the service, making sure that everyone who needs to make a claim can do so. You will also be asked to provide your Government Gateway credentials (user ID and password) and check that your bank and contact details are up to date. This is important so that HMRC can remind you by email or text message when it’s your turn to make a claim. If you don’t have Government Gateway credentials, you can set those up simply if you follow HMRC’s guidance and use the SEISS eligibility checker.
There will be no requirement for customers to wait for pins or codes through the post.
Please use the SEISS eligibility checker and get your Government Gateway credentials now if you don’t already have them. This will make applying for the grant quicker and easier when it is your time to apply.
The application process
When the application process goes live on 13 May, we can continue to support our clients although we cannot complete the claim on your behalf. The application process will show how HMRC has calculated the grant you may be due to receive. You will be able to share this calculation with us. If you, or us, wish to seek a review of this calculation, we can do so on behalf of you as our client. It’s important to note that, according to HMRC, the checker has an extremely high accuracy rate as they use the data you or us has previously provided HMRC with. If you, or us still wish to request a review, HMRC will look at your case from 18 May and they will explain your eligibility by the end of May.
HMRC’s phone lines will be very busy over the next couple of weeks.
A word about scams
HMRC are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. Eligible customers will be invited to claim through GOV.UK – it is the only service they can use. If someone gets in touch with your claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, you should not respond. It is a scam. Suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC should be reported to them by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Texts should be sent to 60599.