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Traders must claim the SEISS grant themselves, warns HMRC

May 14: A sharp reminder has been circulated by HMRC asking agents not to use client Government Gateway credentials to claim the SEISS grant on their behalf.

HMRC has sent an update reminding agents not to use their client's Government Gateway credentials to make claims on their behalf. The message warns:

"It will trigger a fraud alert and will result in delays to receiving payment. If you have claimed on a client’s behalf already, their payment may be delayed. If your clients are affected, they will have to contact us separately to resolve this.”

While ICAEW is disappointed that it is not possible for agents to help their clients by claiming the SEISS grant on their behalf, we understand the priority is to get money to those who needed it most, as quickly as possible and directly to the individual's bank account.

However, agents do still have a role in supporting their clients through the application process. There are still some issues outstanding, one of which relates to how grant applications can be made by the digitally excluded, and we will publish more details as this becomes clear.

We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. As usual, suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC should be reported to HMRC by sending them to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. Texts should be sent to 60599.