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HMRC Pre-Verification Check - Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

With the 4th SEISS Grant announced in the budget, HMRC have announced that they will be doing pre-verification checks. Here we look at what that means.

 What is the background to this check?

  • If you commenced self-employment during the 2019/20 tax year you may be eligible for the 4th SEISS grant.
  • If you fully fit the eligibility criteria, the grant would cover up to 80% of your average trading profits (maximum £7,500) in a 3 month period.
  • If eligible and the pre-verification check has been completed to HMRC’s satisfaction, you will be able to make a SEISS claim between the end of April and 31st May 2021.

Who is the check aimed at?

  • Those who commenced self-employment during the 2019/20 tax year.

What is the purpose of the check?

  • To check the individual’s identity.
  • To provide evidence of a trade.

How will HMRC approach the individual concerned?

  • By letter between 8th March and mid-April 2021.

What will the letter say?

  • To expect a phone call from HMRC within the next 10 working days between 8.00 and 17.30.
  • They will try to call you 3 times.
  • The call will be from ‘an unknown number’.
  • If HMRC are unsuccessful in contacting you, they will send a final letter detailing what you should do next.

What will HMRC request during the call?

  • They will ask for your email address.
  • Confirmation that you are happy to receive a secure Dropbox link.
  • Upon receipt of the link you will be required to upload one form of ID.
  • You will also need to upload 3 months of bank statements to demonstrate your business activity. The bank statements will need to be from the 2019/20 tax year (6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020).
  • If you do not have a UK bank account, then HMRC will ask for further information.

What type of ID will suffice?

  • A current valid passport.
  • A current, valid UK photo-card (full or provisional) driving licence.
  • Any Residence Permit issued by the Home Office to Non-EU nationals, plus your own country’s passport.
  • National identity card bearing a photograph.
  • EEA member state identity card.
  • HM Forces ID Card.
  • Firearms certificate or shotgun licence.
  • Birth certificate
  • Adoption certificate.

When does the information need to be provided by?

  • Within 2 days of the link being sent.

What will HMRC do with the information received?

  • They will check to see if you are eligible to make a claim and invite you to do so.

Do you have to send the information to them?

  • No

What happens if you don’t send the information to them?

  • You will not be allowed to make a SEISS grant claim.

Worth noting

  • Is it is worth collating the evidence in advance of receiving the Dropbox link as there is only a 2 day turn around?
  • If your phone number is not on your 2019/20 Tax Return or you have changed the number since, contact HMRC on 0800 024 1222.
  • If you do not have an email address to receive the Dropbox link, HMRC suggest you ask a friend for assistance to enable the link to be sent.
  • Watch out for any scams. For example somebody phoning you before you have received any letter.

Don’t forget

Even if HMRC are happy with the evidence provided here, to be eligible to make the SEISS claim you still need to:

  • Have been trading during the 2020/21 tax year.
  • Either currently be trading but impacted by reduced demand because of the pandemic or have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.
  • Confirm that you intend to continue to trade
  • Confirm that you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus.

If you are affected by any of the content in this blog or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch, we're here to help!

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