UK: HMRC Urges Customers to Check If They Are Eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

UK: HMRC Urges Customers to Check If They Are Eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC has started contacting customers who they think could be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), based on the information customers provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return.

HMRC is inviting customers to use the online checker which will quickly confirm whether they are eligible and will give customers a specific date from which they can make a claim. The claims service is set to open on 13 May 2020 and will help millions of self-employed people, covering a range of industries and jobs, whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by coronavirus.

activpayroll will not be able to make a claim on behalf of a customer. Designing a scheme that enables payroll service providers to apply on behalf of a customer would take a substantial amount of time, especially at a time when speed is the priority. Instead, HMRC has 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, the customer will need their Unique Taxpayer Reference Number and their National Insurance Number.

If a customer is eligible, they will be given a date, between 13 and 18‌‌ May, from which they 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.

The customer will also be asked to provide their Government Gateway credentials (user ID and password) and check that their bank and contact details are up to date. This is important so that HMRC can remind the customer by email or text message when it’s their turn to make a claim.

If the customer doesn’t have Government Gateway credentials, they can set them up simply if they follow HMRC guidance and use the SEISS eligibility checker. There will be no requirement for customers to wait for pins or codes through the post. If a customer does not already have their Government Gateway credentials, it is strongly advised to get them as soon as possible, this will make applying for a grant quicker and easier when it is time to apply.

The Application Process

The application process goes live on 13‌‌ May 2020.

This process will show how HMRC has calculated the grant the customer is due to receive. If the customer wishes to seek a review of the calculation, they can use the checker within the HMRC guidance. It’s important to note that the checker has an extremely high accuracy rate as HMRC use the data the customer has previously provided them with. If a customer still wishes to request a review, HMRC will look at their case from 18‌‌ May 2020 and will explain their eligibility by the end of May.

Further Information

Customers can find out more information by visiting guidance on GOV.UK which will provide most of the answers needed. Alternatively, join a live webinar for further information about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. During the webinars, HMRC will cover an overview of the scheme, who can claim, how much customers may be entitled to, how to claim and what happens after customers have claimed. Choose a date and time to join a webinar here.

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