Did you claim the first, second or third Self-Employment Income Support grant? If so, you need to make sure you have submitted your 2019-2020 Income Tax Self-Assessment return. If you have, you need to make sure you have completed it correctly. Why? Because if you don’t, you may have to pay back SEISS grant(s) to the taxman.

Currently, HMRC is writing to some claimants to let them know action is needed. The people it is targeting are SEISS claimants who either:

  • Have not submitted their 2019-20 tax return; or
  • Have submitted this return, but haven’t completed the self-employment or partnership page(s).

Why is HMRC writing to these people?

The reason HMRC is writing to these particular claimants is simple. It wants to make sure they were eligible for the SEISS grants they claimed.

The taxman reminds recipients of the letter that they must have fulfilled the following criteria to be eligible for their SEISS grants:

  • Traded as self-employed or in a partnership for 2018-19 and submitted their tax return for that year before 23rd April 2020
  • Traded during the tax year 2019-20
  • Intended to continue trading in 2020-21

HMRC also warns that: “If you were not trading in the 2019-2020 tax year, you will need to pay back the SEISS grant you received.”

Do I need to pay back SEISS?

If you were eligible for SEISS, then no – you won’t have to pay it back if you act quickly

However, if you have not submitted your 2019-20 tax return, you must do it now. Similarly, if you have not completed the self-employment and / or partnership pages of this return, get this done as soon as possible. If you don’t, you will have to pay back any SEISS grants you have received.

If you haven’t submitted your return, you will probably have to pay a late-filing penalty. However, if you need to amend your return, you will avoid this.

It’s important to either submit or amend your return as soon as you can. If you don’t do so within 30 days of HMRC’s letter, you will have to pacy back SEISS

I think I need to pay back SEISS. How do I do it?

If you need to pay back SEISS, you can do so via this page. Note that you may have to pay a penalty for grants you received more than 90 days previously.

You may also want to consider our Self-Assessment Tax Return service if you don’t currently use it. This will not only ensure your returns are accurate and up-to-date, but can help you avoid future problems with HMRC. Get in touch to learn more.


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About Karen Jones

Having worked for one of the world’s largest accountancy firms, Karen Jones uses her tax knowledge and skills to help clients obtain substantial reductions to their tax liabilities.

With an expanding portfolio of tax clients, Karen enjoys the variety her work brings her and particularly likes working with new businesses and people. With a growing number of tax clients, she frequently faces a variety of challenges and relishes the experience she gains as she solves them.

Karen likes the THP ethos: “I like the way the team has a professional, but friendly and down-to-earth approach – it creates a productive atmosphere that benefits everyone.”

Karen’s specialist skills:

  • Personal Taxation
  • Tax Efficient Planning
  • Trust Administration
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