Post dated 5 May 2020
If you are self employed, you could benefit from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which is the Government support for those sole traders and partnerships affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have been refining the advice and support in respect of the SEISS, so you should revisit and review the guidance. As with a lot of the support, it is unprecedented, so in many cases, we (as accountants) are supporting our clients based on the limited information available.
Please revisit the guidance here.
What You Need To Be Aware Of
There are a couple of points which you should be aware of, which may affect whether you can claim or not.
- ACCOUNTANTS CANNOT MAKE THE CLAIMS FOR THEIR CLIENTS. HMRC have been very specific about this. You will need to make the claim yourself, and an important element of this is your Government Gateway account. You will need to make sure that you have an active Gateway account for you as a sole trader or member of a partnership. If you can’t find your details, it’s important that you deal with this ASAP, as this will hold up your claim.
- HMRC will contact you and invite you to apply. Please don’t contact them directly. They expressly state that doing so “will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme”.
- The online scheme will be available from 13 May 2020, so it sounds like the contacting by HMRC will be IMMINENT.
- The scheme is only available for people who were registered as self employed – sole traders or partnerships – before 5 April 2019. There are further stipulations, see ‘Who Can Claim’ in the guidance. It is NOT available for directors of limited companies or buy to let landlords.
- Please be extra vigilant of scams, particularly texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information.
Although we cannot make SEISS claims for clients, we can provide help and support. If you need this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.