The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened for applications at 8am on 13 May 2020. The scheme will provide grants of up to £2,500 per month based on 80% of average profits to qualifying applicants.
HMRC has reiterated that the claim is designed to be made by the claimant directly and that advisers cannot make a claim on behalf of their clients. Instead, qualifying applicants need to make a claim using their own Government Gateway account.
Since the scheme has launched, HMRC has sent a COVID-19 alert to advisers that states:
We have noticed some agents are using their client’s Government Gateway credentials to make claims on their behalf. Please don’t do this. It will trigger a fraud alert and will result in delays to receiving payment.
If you have claimed on a client’s behalf already, their payment may be delayed. If your clients are affected, they will have to contact us separately to resolve this.
The claims process has been designed to be as simple as possible, but no doubt some clients will need hand-holding through the process.
Those who are eligible to use the scheme will have been given a randomly allocated date between 13 and 18 May indicating when they can apply for their grant. Whilst clients cannot apply before the allocated day, there is no issue submitting a claim after that day. The taxable grant (equivalent to three months’ profits for March, April and May), will be paid in a single instalment. The claims are expected to be paid within six working days of submission.
HRMC has also stated the following: if you, or your client, wish to seek a review of HMRC’s decision regarding your client’s eligibility, you can do this using the form available when the checker confirms this result. We will look at their case and we will explain their eligibility by the end of May.
The government has not yet confirmed whether this scheme will be extended, past the current expiration date of 31 May.