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HMRC begins SEISS post-claim compliance activity

20 October 2020: HMRC has started writing to Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant claimants that may have ceased trading and therefore do not qualify.

HMRC has sent around 24,000 emails to taxpayers who claimed SEISS grants where HMRC holds information suggesting that the taxpayer has stopped trading.

Recipients of the email are asked to complete a form that has been developed specifically to gather responses to these emails.

The form must be completed either to confirm that the taxpayer has ceased trading and needs to repay the grant or to confirm that HMRC’s information is incorrect and the taxpayer did not cease trading or has restarted.

HMRC is allowing extra time to complete the form; the deadline to avoid a possible penalty is 20 November 2020 rather than the statutory notification date. Agents cannot submit the form on behalf of clients.

In cases where the taxpayer accepts that they need to repay the grant HMRC will follow up with an assessment. Where the taxpayer responds to say that they have continued trading HMRC may request further evidence.