Self Employed Grant – application process

HMRC have this week announced that the much anticipated grant for the self employed (SEISS) is almost here.

When the grant was announced we expected as your authorised agents we could apply for this grant on your behalf, using our own Agent portal to HMRC’s system. However HMRC have this week announced this additional functionality has not proved possible in the limited time available to develop the system, and given the one off nature of the scheme. In fairness they have delivered a very user-friendly application process way ahead of their ‘early June’ deadline.

We have put together the below step-by-step guide on how to prepare NOW for the application and then how to make the application from 13 May.

We know many of our clients will process the application confidently themselves – indeed we know many of you have already completed steps 1 and 2 of the process.

If you do feel you will need extra assistance, please contact us now! Hanley & Co are in our 30th year of being ‘Accountants You Can Talk To’. We WANT to come alongside you and help in any way we can. As such we are very happy to book a short 10-15 telephone appointment with you, during which we can screen share your computer and be by your side through the application process, and also to answer any other queries you may have at this stressful time.

  • Step 1 – Check your eligibility – AVAILABLE NOW

HMRC have now made available an online tool so you can check if you are eligible to make a claim using the Government’s SEISS (self employed) grant scheme, and if so you will be given a date from when you can submit your claim. All you have to enter is your Unique Tax Reference number (found on any personal tax correspondence from us or HMRC) and your National Insurance number.

You may have received an email or post from HMRC inviting you to use this tool, but if you haven’t received anything from them, you can still use it!

Once your eligibility is confirmed HMRC will provide you with a date from when you can submit your claim. They are understandably staggering applications from 13-18 May, to spread demand on their system. Bear in mind that even if you’re at the back end of this period, HMRC have already exceeded everyone’s expectations to deliver this very quickly – we were initially advised to expect this functionality in early June!

  • Step 2 – Create your Personal Tax Account – AVAILABLE NOW

Once you have your application date from the above tool, HMRC will invite you to create a personal tax account (Government Gateway ID and password). This is essential and creating it ahead of your application day, will mean you can submit your claim promptly and easily. We’ve created a separate step-by-step guide available here on how to create your Personal Tax Account here.

If you don’t have access to a computer or internet, there will be a telephone service available. However given our lengthy ‘on-hold’ telephone calls with HMRC, we strongly recommend online submissions wherever possible.

  • Step 3 – Submit your claim – AVAILABLE 13-18 MAY

HMRC should email or text you (depending on the contact details you’ve provided to them) to confirm when the portal is open for you.

Log in to your Personal Tax Account (see above on how to set this up) to complete the application form. You will be presented with a detailed calculation of the grant available to you (based on information HMRC already hold from your Tax Returns). You are then asked to:

  • read and accept the eligibility criteria;
  • complete declarations, including to confirm that the business has been adversely affected by coronavirus; and
  • supply the bank account details into which you would like the grant to be paid.

To clarify you will not need to provide any information about your income – the calculations have already been prepared by HMRC based on the tax returns submitted.

We strongly recommend you keep a record of the receipt on your screen once submitted – either by printing it out, printing to a PDF or simply taking a photo of your screen on your phone.

  • Step 4 – Receive payment – 25 May 2020 or 6 working days from submission

You should receive payment into your bank account on the later of either 25 May 2020 or 6 working days from submission. We have been very impressed with how promptly HMRC have paid out recent furlough reimbursement claims by employers – so we are hopefully these grant payments will be similarly efficient.

We hope the above helps – to reiterate, whilst as agents we are not able to submit the application on your behalf, as initially expected, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a short telephone appointment so Dean or Gina can talk you through the application process and help with any other queries.

Best wishes and please continue to stay safe.

Dean and Gina

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