The Hangover: Hopeful house owner explains why she can't get the SEISS grant
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HMRC oversees a number of payments, but during the pandemic it was responsible for providing support to the self-employed. Many saw their businesses impacted by closures or a lack of custom, and SEISS was designed to help in the form of five separate grants. Applications for the fifth and final grant closed on September 30, drawing to an end over a year of support for the eligible self-employed in this way.
However, despite the scheme’s finish, there still may be some matters to clear up as it relates to the administration of the grant.
HMRC has released new guidance which encompasses anyone who received a payment through SEISS.
For this reason, it will be vital for the self-employed to pay attention, and look out for a letter in the post.
The Revenue has warned that some or all of the payment may need to be paid back in certain circumstances.
A failure to do so could mean individuals face a hefty penalty from the Government.
The Government websites states: “You must tell us if you have received a letter from HMRC that says you need to pay back some or all of a grant.”
A large number of self-employed people will not have to worry, but receiving a letter could be a key sign that action needs to be taken.
According to the updated HMRC guidance this November, individuals must tell HMRC if, when they made the claim, they were not eligible for the grant.
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For example, this could occur if a person did not intend to continue to trade, or they have incorporated their business.
Similarly, under the terms of the first or second grant, a person must have seen their business adversely affected.
As it relates to the third, fourth and fifth grant, a business must have been impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand, or have been unable to trade in the relevant periods.
In most cases, if a person is not eligible to receive the grant and is required to pay it back they must inform HMRC within 90 days of receiving the grant.
In the case of the fourth and fifth grant, the rules for when to tell the Revenue can be different.
This will be if amending a return affects a person’s eligibility or grant amount.
Britons must tell HMRC if there is an amendment to any of their tax returns on or after March 3, 2021, which lowers the grant eligibility amount, or makes them ineligible altogether.
If people are not upfront about this, they can expect to receive a letter in attempts to recover the grant money.
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HMRC also warns individuals may have to pay a penalty in this circumstance.
The Revenue understands genuine mistakes can often be made, but urges Britons to be honest if this occurs.
If a person does have to pay money back, they can check whether they need to tell HMRC and pay back some or all of the grant.
This can be done via the Government’s official website, where a portal has been established for this purpose.
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