Up until 3 March 2021 individuals who became self-employed in 2019/20 were not eligible for the First, Second or Third Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grants. However, in the 2021 budget announced on 3 March 2021, individuals who became self-employed in 2019/20 will be eligible for the fourth grant and fifth grant.
Why SEISS pre-verification checks are needed
To minimise fraud, HMRC will be contacting these individuals to ask them to carry out pre-verification checks.
HMRC has decided that it needs to see evidence of claimants’ income and identity before they make a new claim. Hence the new SEISS pre-verification checks, which are only being made for first-time claimants who started trading in 2019/20.
It was always highly likely that the Chancellor would open up the scheme to people who became self-employed during the 2019/20 financial year. Because of this, it’s quite possible that fraudsters have submitted false tax returns designed to make them eligible for a maximum £7,500 payment from the fourth and fifth rounds of SEISS.
How the SEISS pre-verification checks work
Individuals will receive a letter from HMRC between 8 March 2021 and mid-April 2021 advising them that they will receive a phone call within ten working days.
- HMRC will ask you to confirm your email address and agree to receive a link to a secure Dropbox.
- You will be emailed a link to a Dropbox folder and will be asked to upload digital copies of your ID and bank statements.
- You will only have two days to upload the information before the Dropbox link expires.
- If you don’t receive the email, check your spam folder in case it has got trapped there.
They will make three attempts to call and therefore you need to check they have your correct telephone number. You can correct your phone number by calling 0800 024 1222. If you fail to complete the checks you will be unable to claim the grant.
When can I claim the next SEISS grant?
Applications for the next SEISS grant open in late April. To claim, you must have completed the pre-verification process. So, if you think there’s a chance you will need to claim SEISS, it’s vital that you take HMRC’s call and upload your documents.