HMRC are writing to taxpayers who received one of the first three grants under the COVID-19 Self Employment Income Support (SEISS) scheme and have not filed a Self Assessment return for 2019-20. HMRC are urging them to do so within 30 days or face having to repay the grants.

Eligibility for the first three SEISS grants was based on recipients having self-employment income for 2018-19 and 2019-20. HMRC have identified those grant recipients who have either not submitted a 2019-20 return at all yet, or whose submitted return did not include the self-employment or partnership pages.

Those taxpayers will now be receiving a letter from HMRC confirming that they have 30 days to either file or amend their 2019-20 return to include income from self-employment, or to repay the grants in full. Late returns will be subject to Late filing penalties unless the taxpayer has a Reasonable excuse. Amendments to returns should not result in penalties.

The letter also reminds taxpayers who ceased to trade in 2019-20 that:

  • They will need to repay their grants as they were not eligible for them.
  • If repayment is more than 90 days from the date of receipt of the grant then penalties may be due.

Useful guides on this topic

COVID-19: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) (now ended)
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS): support for the self-employed during the Coronavirus crisis. The fifth SEISS grant covering May to September 2021 was open for claims until 30 September 2021. 

COVID-19: Taxation of Coronavirus support payments
This guide summarises the tax treatment of grants paid during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Grounds for Appeal: Reasonable excuse
What is considered to be a 'reasonable excuse' when a taxpayer makes an appeal against a tax compliance failure?

Penalties: Failure to Notify
What tax penalties apply if you fail to notify HMRC that you are chargeable to tax? Can they be appealed or reduced?

External links

Source: ICAEW

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