HMRC is contacting businesses which claimed a grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to check whether they have stopped trading. What do you need to do?
HMRC do not normally email with requests for information, but this policy had changed following the SEISS grants earlier this year. If you find an email from HMRC asking you to confirm if you have stopped trading – it might be genuine.
HMRC has contacted some businesses which received a grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), asking them to confirm whether they are still trading. If your business has stopped trading, HMRC will need to check whether you were eligible for the grant and whether the grant needs to be repaid. Even if your business is continuing to trade, you still need to respond to HMRC’s request and may be asked to provide evidence.
Those who received their SEISS grant before 22 July 2020 must inform HMRC by 20 November 2020 and those who received the grant on or after 22 July 2020 must inform HMRC within 90 days of receiving the grant. If you do not inform HMRC on time that you ceased trading, you may be charged a penalty.
Where HMRC contact you and you have not stopped trading and not closed your business, you still need to tell them. HMRC may contact you to ask for evidence to prove you’re still trading.
Never click on links in emails to submit information to HMRC. Fraudsters are particularly active at the moment hoping to gather personal details or elicit payments.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC or an email asking for payment – never reply directly or provide any personal details. You or your accountant should call HMRC to check that any requests are genuine.
One of the criteria to receive the grant was that the business was continuing to trade or would be except for coronavirus and intended to continue trading. Therefore, if your business permanently stopped trading during the months that the grants covered, you may not have been eligible for part or all of the payment. If you need to repay the grant, HMRC will contact you with further details and you will have 30 days to pay. Where you are not able to pay, you can call HMRC to discuss setting up a payment plan.
Use this form if you received an email from HMRC, asking you to confirm if you’ve stopped trading so HMRC can check if you were eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant.
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