Health-check your Self-employment Income Support Scheme claim

With the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) having been rolled out at pace, errors have crept into claims.

HMRC may charge penalties if you are overpaid and fail to notify it of the fact within the correct timescale.

Notification should be made within 90 days of the date you received an amount to which you were not entitled. HMRC states that it is not looking for innocent errors or small mistakes. Where someone didn’t know they didn’t qualify for a grant when they received it, HMRC will only charge a penalty if the grant is not repaid by 31 January 2022.

There are some key areas worth revisiting. Check, for example, that there isn’t a significant discrepancy between the amount(s) HMRC has advised you were due, and amount(s) received. Overpayment could potentially occur if you have a business that has permanently stopped trading, or (because companies aren’t eligible for the SEISS) if you have incorporated a sole trader or partnership business since 5 April 2018. Or indeed if you misunderstood the rules and claimed when you weren’t eligible.

The process to notify HMRC of an error, or to make repayment, involves completing an online form, then making the payment. HMRC is unlikely to contact you unless it needs more information or if there is a problem with your payment. The details can be found here.