In last week’s budget it was announced that the newly self employed would now qualify for the SEISS grant provided that they had submitted a 2019/2020 tax return. HMRC have subsequently announced that in order to protect from fraud they will be writing to up to 100,000 of these people asking for ‘pre -verification’ checks. The checks will confirm the identity of the taxpayer and there will need to be evidence of trade. The first contact will be by a letter between now and mid-April. The letter will state that HMRC will phone you on the number they hold for you within 10 working days (HMRC normally call from a withheld number).
We are advised that on the call that you will need to confirm your email address and an agreement to use Dropbox, where within 2 days a form of ID and evidence of trading will need to be uploaded.
HMRC have confirmed they will try to call on three separate occasions, and if unsuccessful they will write a further letter. Taxpayers who receive the letter but do not complete the checks will not be able to claim the fourth and fifth (final) grant.
HMRC have released a copy of the letter they are sending out in order to guard against scams. We do advise that you must be cautious when speaking to anyone who professes to be from HMRC, and personal financial information should never be disclosed over the phone.
These checks only apply to those who have not been able to claim the first three grants. If you have already claimed and you are still eligible you can claim the fourth grant towards the end of April.
Just a reminder that VAT that was deferred from quarters ended March to June 2020 is now due to be paid by 31 March 2021 unless you have arranged for a payment plan with HMRC. You can spread over up to 11 monthly payments by logging into your HMRC online account. This is a function we cannot perform for you, so please make sure you have signed up before 21 June 2021. The earlier you sign up will result in more instalments being available. If you wish to spread over the maximum number of instalments, you will need to sign up by 19 March 2021. Any payments not made by 30 June 2021 without a payment plan will incur a 5% surcharge.