HMRC has barred tax agents from making claims on their clients' behalf under its new coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) portal.
This decision has apparently been made because of lack of time. HMRC is planning to calculate the claims and pay them directly to taxpayers. We presume that this is to also to minimise the potential of fraudulent claims.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) says that its members will be 'very disappointed' that they cannot assist their clients, although agents can still do most of the vital 'leg work' for their clients in checking their eligibility for claims.
In a work around for tax agents, eligibility for claims can be checked, step by step via our Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Eligibility Checker Tool
Agents can also use HMRC's claim checker, they require the taxpayer's UTR and Nationa Insurance number. This tool does not provide any calculations and simply checks whether the basic conditons are met.