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Claims for the second grant closed on 19th October 2020. A third grant is available for the period 1st November 2020 to 29th January 2021, with claims opening on 30th November. Information on the third grant can be found here.

As with the first Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, claim slots will be made available on a staggered basis. HMRC will provide a date from which you may make your claim until 19th October 2020, when the scheme ends.

HMRC will contact you by email using the same email address you supplied when you claimed the first grant. If HMRC don’t have an email address or you did not claim the first grant, HMRC will contact you by letter.

You should make your claim from the date HMRC gave you in its letter or email. If you can’t find this date, you can use the online service to check.

You should contact HMRC if you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC as this may be a scam.

How to check if you are eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme 

HMRC is contacting everyone it thinks may be eligible to make a claim, based on information it already holds. However, not everyone who is contacted will be entitled to a grant.  

For example, HMRC will not always know if you meet all conditions of the scheme, such as whether you have traded in the current tax year. 

More details about eligibility for SEISS may be found here.

In a nutshell, you must meet the following conditions to be eligible to make a claim for the second and final SEISS grant:

  • Your business must have been adversely affected by COVID-19 on or after 14th July 2020.
  • You must have traded in the tax year 2018/19 and submitted your Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23rd April 2020 for that year.
  • You must have traded in the tax year 2019/20.
  • You must intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/21.
  • Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment for either the tax year 2018/19 or the average of the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19.  

HMRC has provided more details about how it works out trading profits and non-trading income for SEISS here.

How to make a claim for the second Self-employment Income Support Scheme grant

As with the first grant, you can only make the claim yourself. HMRC states your accountant cannot claim the grant on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, which will delay your payment.

HMRC has tried to make the claim process as simple as possible and they believe the whole process should only take up a few minutes of your time. Please click here for our step-by-step guide to making a claim

You will need the following information to make your claim:

  • Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    * Bank account number
    * Sort code
    * Name on the account
    * Your address linked to your bank account

Information is available here on what is a UTR number and where to find your UTR number.

A link to the HMRC claim portal, where you can make your claim, can be found here.

When you have logged in, you will be presented with information about how your grant has been calculated and be asked the following: 

  • Read and accept the eligibility criteria 
  • Complete several declarations, including confirmation that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus 
  • Supply the bank account details into which they would like the grant to be paid 

What happens next

If your claim is approved, HMRC aim to pay your grant directly into your bank account within six working days, in a single instalment.

The online system will also tell you how much you will be paid and how HMRC calculated your entitlement, which will be based on your submitted tax returns.

If you claimed over six working days ago and your grant has not been paid into your bank account, you should contact HMRC.

Records you must keep

You must keep a copy of all records, including the amount claimed, the claim period and the grant claim reference.

You also need to keep evidence to show that your business has been ‘adversely affected’ by Coronavirus on or after 14th July 2020.

As the person who knows your business best, HMRC expect you to make an honest assessment about whether it has been adversely affected. There is no minimum threshold over which your business’s income or costs need to have changed. You will need to keep a record of evidence of how your business has been adversely affected.

If you claimed an SEISS grant that you were not eligible for or received more money than you are entitled to, you must notify HMRC by the latest of:

  • 20th October 2020
  • 90 days after you receive your grant

If you don’t notify HMRC by the above deadline, they can impose a penalty.

Don’t forget that you must report your SEISS grant on your Self-Assessment tax return as taxable income. You may also need to update your Universal Credit or Tax Credit claims.

Date published 18 Aug 2020 | Last updated 8 Dec 2020

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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