On 21st April the fourth round of SEISS grant applications opened. This government support has been vital for self-employed people across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
This new procedure is ONLY be applicable for new traders whose first tax return was submitted to HMRC for 2019-2020 on or before 2nd March 2021. You can make your application here.
Individuals who have started their business in 2019/20 will need to provide additional evidence to HMRC in order to claim the self employed income support grant. But complying will cover several steps, and if you fail any of steps you will be unable to claim the grant. Here’s a guide to the process:
Step One – Letter
HMRC will send you a letter in the post. It should arrive between 10th March – mid April. This will provide instructions on the next steps
Step Two – Phone Call
Up to two weeks after the letter is sent, HMRC will call the contact number on the 2019/20 tax return. All our tax returns only have our contact number on it, so HMRC will call us first, and we will be able to provide them with a contact number for our clients. We will let you know when we have had this phone call so that you are aware that the HMRC call is on it’s way.
The call will come from an “unknown number” and HMRC will only make three attempts between 8am and 5.30pm. If none of these attempts are successful, then you will fail the pre-verification checks.
There is a contact number – 0800 024 1222 – which has been set up to update your telephone contact details. The call handler cannot deal with any other queries.
Step Three – supply email address
You will need to advise HMRC of the email address to be used. You will also have to confirm that you agree to receive a link to a Dropbox account to that email account.
Step Four – find the email from HMRC
HMRC will send you a Dropbox link which you will have to use. It will only be valid for 48 hours. You will need to keep an eye on your junk folder as it is highly likely that it will end up in there.
Step Five – Digital copies
You will need to provide digital copies of a form of ID (photo drivers licence or passport) plus 3 months of UK business bank statements from the 2019/20 tax year. This information is needed to demonstrate that the new business has been active in the 2019/20 tax year. If you have not used a business bank account, but used a normal personal account instead, you will need to confirm with HMRC officer that this will be sufficient.
Step Six – Upload documents
You will need to upload these documents to HMRC via the Dropbox link. The link will only be valid for 2 days, and then it will expire and you will fail the pre verification check.
Step Seven – Apply for the grant
All of the above steps will need to be completed before the you attempt to apply for the SEISS grant. We are unable to make SEISS applications on behalf of a client. You will also require a government gateway set up to be able to make the application.
This is quite a lengthy process and can be a bit daunting, however if you work through the steps one by one, it’s not as complicated as it appears.
Watch out for scammers!
Unfortunately, we are living in a world where we are all on high alert against scammers looking to take advantage of struggling businesses. This is why I’ve outlined all the steps. This new process can look at little suspicious if you are not aware of it beforehand and we should all be careful about sharing personal and business information.
You will still need to be vigilant as scammers are likely to copy this procedure to launch attacks on genuine businesses.
If in doubt – we are here to help
If you have concerns or are struggling in any way, please let us know. We know what to look out for to ensure correspondence is genuine and can quickly verify any letters you receive.