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Report SEISS Payments or Repay Grants in Full, HMRC Warns Self-Employed Taxpayers

Nov 12, 2021

Self-employed workers who received coronavirus support but did not accurately complete or file a 2019/20 tax return may be asked to repay their grants, it has been revealed.

It comes after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) wrote to thousands of individuals who claimed under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) but did not correctly report payments.

According to the tax authority, workers who applied for support must have been trading as self-employed or in a partnership in 2019/20 and complete an income tax Self Assessment for the relevant year – the deadline of which was 31 January 2021.

HMRC is now writing to taxpayers who made a claim for one of the first three SEISS grants between March 2020 and January 2021 and did not report the payment(s) or submit a tax return altogether.

Taxpayers have two options; either register for Self Assessment (if they have not done so already) and submit or amend their 2019/20 tax return to include the relevant information within 30 days of receipt of the letter, or repay the grant(s) in full.

If you are submitting your tax return late, rather than simply amending it, you may also be charged a late filing penalty.

Individuals who ceased to trade in 2019/20, meanwhile, were not eligible for support and must repay the grants in full.

HMRC advises recipients to seek support from their tax advisor or accountant if they have one.

The enforcement letter can be found here.