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HMRC runs final checks ahead of SEISS 4 claims

Over the next three weeks HMRC will be contacting taxpayers who have met all the eligibility requirements for the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.

9th Apr 2021
Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
Columnist
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Sole trader eligibility checks for SEISS grants
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The fourth SEISS grant covers 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021 and will be open to those who actively traded during the 2019 and 2020 tax years, as evidenced by tax returns.

While the latest round of SEISS grants extends to those who filed 2019-20 tax returns by Budget day on 3 March, traders must declare as part of the application process that they intend to continue trading in 2021 and that they suffered a significant drop in trading profits as a result of the pandemic.

Rebecca Cave commented in March that the additional criteria are hard on individuals who started their self-employed business in 2019, but who were left with no government support in 2020. “They still won’t qualify for SEISS support if their new business could not survive into 2021,” she wrote.

Self-employed people have had to jump through a number of hoops to claim financial support during the pandemic.

Aside from the original threshold of earning more than 50% of their income from self-employment (up to a maximum of £50,000 a year), some claimants for the next round of grants have had to respond to HMRC verification emails checking that they meet all the qualifying criteria.

The agent update advised that as part of these pre-checks HMRC has been ringing some potential claimants to make further eligibility checks such as proof of identity and evidence of trade. The latter check will be based on sight of three months of worth of business bank statements from the the 2019-20 tax year.

From mid-April, HMRC said it will start informing taxpayers who previously claimed SEISS support but are no longer eligible

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