This week we have started contacting self-employed customers who we think could be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), based on the information they provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return. We’re inviting customers to use our online checker which will quickly confirm whether they are eligible and will give customers a specific date from which they can make a claim.
Agents cannot file the claim for you but we have been asked to help with the following;
- ensuring they are aware they may be eligible
- helping them to find the details they need
- using the online eligibility checker on their behalf (or supporting them to use it themselves)
- talking them through why they may or may not be eligible, drawing on our online guidance or through our daily webinars.
As an agent you won’t be able to make a claim on behalf of your clients.
Designing a scheme that enabled agents to apply on behalf of clients would have taken substantially longer to deliver, at a time when speed is the priority.
Instead, we have designed the scheme to be as simple as possible for customers to use, and we will calculate the amount a customer is entitled to based on the information we already hold.
How to use the checker
To use the online checker, your client or you, on their behalf, will need their Unique Taxpayer Reference Number and their National Insurance Number.
If your client is eligible, they will be given a date, between 13 and 18 May, from which they can apply. This date is assigned randomly to help HMRC manage demand on the service, making sure that everyone who needs to make a claim can do so.
Your client will also be asked to provide their Government Gateway credentials (user ID and password) and check that their bank and contact details are up to date. This is important so that we can we can remind them by email or text message when it’s their turn to make a claim.
If your client doesn’t have Government Gateway credentials, they can set those up simply if they follow our guidance and use the SEISS eligibility checker. There will be no requirement for customers to wait for pins or codes through the post.
Please encourage your clients to use the SEISS eligibility checker and get their Government Gateway credentials now if they don’t already have them. This will make applying for the grant quicker and easier when it is their time to apply.
The application process
When the application process goes live on 13 May, you can continue to support your clients although you cannot complete the claim on their behalf.
The application process will show how HMRC has calculated the grant your client is due to receive. Your client will be able to share this calculation with you.
If you, or your client, wish to seek a review of this calculation, you can do so on behalf of your client. It’s important to note that the checker has an extremely high accuracy rate as we use the data you or your client has previously provided us with.
We’d welcome your support in helping clients to understand if they meet the criteria for SEISS. If you, or your client still wish to request a review, we will look at their case from 18 May and we will explain their eligibility by the end of May.
Our phone lines will be very busy over the next couple of weeks so we would really value your help in explaining the scheme to your clients and ensuring they understand the scheme. You can do this by visiting our guidance on GOV.UK which will provide you with most of the answers you or they need.
Join our webinar to find out more
You can also join one of our live webinars for further information about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
During these webinars we’ll cover an overview of the scheme, who can claim, how much customers may be entitled to, how to claim, what happens after customers have claimed and other support available. Choose a date and time.
Watch our animation
We have created a short animation to show, step by step, how to use the checker. Please feel free to share this with your clients.
Other help available
There are a range of measures to support businesses and individuals at this difficult time. If your client is not eligible for a grant under this scheme, they may still qualify for other forms of help. We’d encourage customers and agents to visit GOV.UK to see what alternative support might apply.
A word about scams
We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. Eligible customers will be invited to claim through GOV.UK – it is the only service they can use. If someone gets in touch with your clients claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks them to click on a link or to give information such as their name, credit card or bank details, they should not respond. It is a scam.
Suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC should be reported to us by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Texts should be sent to 60599.
We will write to you again with further information ahead of the claim process opening next week.
|Thank you again for your continued support.|
|To find out all of the ways you can contact us and our opening times go to GOV.UK – contact HMRC|