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Appeal HMRC decision about 4th self employed grant

any experience about appealing against HMRC grant decisions

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I have a client who's 19.20 tax return was submitted before 31.1.21 but unfortunately the partnership income got incorrectly reported to hmrc as employment income; the Partnership tax return was also submitted on time and correctly showed the individual as a partner throughout. HMRC then closed the clients self employment record in November 2020 without telling us (despite also having a Partnership tax return for 19.20 with him as a partner).

This has all come to light as the client went to claim 4th SEIS grant last week and couldn't - told he was not showing on their system as self employed and his 19.20 income was as employment. HMRC have updated their systems over the weekend to show the income for 19.20 correctly as Partnership. He still can't claim the grant online and HMRC have said that because his 19.20 record wasn't amended before 2.3.2021 then he is still ineligble to claim...despite fact they have the Partnership tax return on record correcty showing he was self employed throughout with no cessation.

Is it worth appealing against the decision with HMRC? Has anyone had experience of appealing agaisnt SEIS decisions with HMRC? 

This client's business continues to be very badly affected by covid so this is much needed funds.

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By Paul Crowley
04th May 2021 13:02

I assume this is a brand new client that did his own tax return last year.
DIY always a risk
Amazed that return accepted given that nil tax shown as deducted from employment, but we do not know how much that was, so may be difficult to blame HMRC on that point.

Best to put in writing just to confirm the position and refer to the calls already made.
If my new client I would suggest making Universal credit claim soonest
Then spend the next week in repeated telephone calls and webchats to HMRC. Client is best placed to explain how it went wrong.

But the rule was clear. File by the day and ignore subsequent amendments.

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By Paul Crowley
04th May 2021 13:36

Not aware of any thread referring to experience or success in challenging SEISS decisions.

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By jonharris999
04th May 2021 14:31

I have been taking a number of appeals through on similar grounds of "misallocated" income. I don't entirely disagree with the excellent @Paul Crowley's assumption - but, for the record, a couple of these errors originated with other accountants, not with my (new) clients doing DIY work.

HMRC have allowed only a tiny number of appeals, and none of mine. They have mostly now gone forward to the Adjudicator and will then I think go to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

This is a complicated matter, not least because there is a mixture of HMRC error in part, questions about how HMRC exercises discretion on another part, and policy questions for a third part, which are Govt/Treasury issues not HMRC.

I doubt you will get anywhere with a first or second Tier appeal, but it only costs you time to try. If you and your clients are very determined, be ready for a long road.

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