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SEISS grants – what happens next?

Published on 23 September 2021

Since May 2020 there have been five Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants which the self-employed and partners in business partnerships may have been eligible to claim. As the claim period for the fifth grant ends on 30 September 2021, this article rounds up some useful information relating to the grants.

Illustration of people standing in the shape of a question mark

On which tax return do I include my SEISS grants?

Your SEISS grants are subject to income tax and self-employed National Insurance contributions so need to be included on your Self Assessment tax returns, even if you would not be required to submit a tax return otherwise, for example your sales income is fully covered by the trading allowance.

If you are self-employed, the SEISS grants must be included on the following tax returns regardless of when they were actually received.

  • The first three SEISS grants must be included on the 2020/21 tax return.
  • The fourth and fifth SEISS grants will be included in the tax year you receive payments; this will be the 2021/22 tax return.

You must include the first three SEISS grants in a specific box on your 2020/21 tax return. There is detailed guidance explaining more if you are filing your tax return using HMRC online services or completing a paper tax return on our page: Where do I include the grants on my tax return?

If you are a partner in a partnership then different rules may apply. Again, these are explained on our page: Where do I include the grants on my tax return?

What should I do if I have made a mistake regarding my SEISS grants on my 2020/21 tax return?

If you have submitted your 2020/21 tax return and have not included the correct information about your SEISS grants in the correct box on the tax return then HMRC should contact you with a revised tax calculation. If this is the case, then you should check the amendment carefully to make sure that the grants aren’t being taxed twice. Our webpage where do I include the grants on my tax return? covers this in more detail.

If you have not heard from HMRC but you now know your SEISS entries are incorrect on your tax return then you can call HMRC on 0300 200 3310 and ask them to amend your return for this specific issue only or you can amend your tax return yourself as soon as possible to correct the mistake.

There is also information on GOV.UK on checking if you need to change your Self Assessment return for SEISS.

I have amended my 2019/20 tax return – will that affect my SEISS grants?

Potentially any amendments to your 2019/20 tax return after 3 March 2021 could affect the amounts of your fourth and fifth grants, even if the amendments were made before you could claim these grants. Only the fourth and fifth grants are affected – not the first three grants.

Amendments to your submitted 2019/20 tax return could affect your SEISS grants in either of the two ways listed below:

  1. It could be that the amendments mean you are no longer eligible to have claimed the fourth and fifth grants, for example your profits now average more than £50,000 or your non-trading income is more than 50% of your total income over the qualifying tax years.
  2. Or, it may be the case that the amendments mean you should have received lower amounts of the grants. For example, the amended return shows a reduction in profits and so your fourth and fifth grants should have been lower than the amount you actually received.

In the first scenario is up to you to contact HMRC, even if the amendments to the tax return have occurred because of a HMRC enquiry so they are aware of the changes. You should contact HMRC as soon as possible as there are deadlines on when you need to inform them of the changes to your eligibility and repay the fourth and fifth SEISS grants, and potentially penalties if these deadlines are not adhered to. There is more information in our SEISS guidance.

In the second scenario above you only need to inform HMRC if the amended tax return results in a revised grant calculation that is more than £100 lower than the original calculation. You will need to repay the part of the original grant which is excessive now.

Please note that no re-calculation or additional SEISS grant payments will be made if the amendments mean a higher SEISS fourth and fifth grant would otherwise have been awarded.

If you are unsure if any amendments affect your SEISS grants then you should contact HMRC using the online form and ask them to confirm. Similar to the first scenario you should do this as soon as possible as there are penalties if you do meet the deadlines, see our guidance for more information.

If you do have to repay any of your SEISS grants make sure you use the correct HMRC bank account, the details of which should be in the relevant HMRC correspondence.

I have made a mistake on the turnover (financial impact declaration) test when claiming the fifth grant – does this matter?

Potentially if you have made a mistake with your turnover figures for the turnover test then it may affect the amount of the fifth SEISS grant you should have received. For example, if the correct turnover amounts mean your level of grant should have been calculated at 30% but you received the grant calculated at 80% then you will need to contact HMRC and repay the difference.

Also, it may be that you have received the lower level of grant (30%) but should have received the higher (80%) amount – if that is the case you should contact HMRC before the end of the claim process period, 30 September 2021.

Remember it is your responsibility to inform HMRC and repay any overpaid grants by a specific deadline.

What records should I keep if I have claimed the SEISS grants?

You will need to keep details of your SEISS grants (amount and grant reference) so that you can include the correct information on your tax returns. If you don’t have this information then you should be able to log onto HMRC’s online system to find details of all the SEISS grants you have claimed.

You should also keep records supporting your eligibility to claim the grants. Please note the eligibility rules changed between the grants so you may need different business records depending on which grants you claimed.

If you haven’t already done so it may be helpful to make a note of the circumstances when you made each SEISS claim, as your eligibility depended on your reasonable beliefs at the time of each claim. For example, it may have been the case that you claimed the third grant based on the reasonable belief you had suffered a significant reduction in trading profits but a few months later demand for your business improved and so over the entire accounting period you did not suffer a significant reduction. Your claim for the third SEISS grant was valid, however based on the information on your tax return HMRC may check some further details with you to ensure you were eligible for the third grant. Keeping notes and any evidence such as emails confirming the cancellation of self-employment work would be useful to show HMRC.

There is more information on what records you should keep on our SEISS webpage and on GOV.UK.

Contact: Claire Thackaberry (click here to Contact Us)
First published: 24/09/21


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