HMRC issues urgent warning on SEISS as tax return deadline looms

Martin Lewis outlines details on the fifth SEISS grant

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Self-assessment tax return customers are being reminded that they have until the end of this month to declare any COVID-19 grant payments they received. The SEISS grants as well as other COVID-19 support payments must be noted on customers’ 2020 to 2021 tax return.

HMRC has issued a reminder to customers to declare any COVID-19 grant payments on their tax returns as the support grants are taxable. 

It is estimated that more than 2.7 million people claimed at least one SEISS grant by April 5, 2021. 

These grants were created to help self-employed individuals who were struggling to keep themselves and their business afloat during the pandemic. 

There were several rounds of SEISS grants made available since the start of the pandemic – three of which apply to the upcoming deadline.

The application and payment windows for SEISS were:

  • SEISS 1: May 13, 2020 to July 13, 2020
  • SEISS 2: August 17, 2020 to October 19, 2020
  • SEISS 3: November 29, 2020 to January 29, 2021 

All three of these fall under the 2020 to 2021 tax year and will all need to be declared by the end of the month.

Customers are urged to check and ensure that any SEISS and other COVID-19 grants have been correctly reported in their self assessment tax return.

SEISS grants are not the only support payments that need to be declared before February. 

More information on what support payments need to be reported can be found on the website.

Customers who received support during COVID-19 might need to report their payments on their tax return if they are:

  • Self-employed
  • In a partnership
  • A business

HMRC’s director general for customer services, Myrtle Lloyd, commented: “We want to help customers get their tax returns right, first time. We have videos, guidance and helpsheets available online to support you with your Self Assessment. Search ‘help with Self Assessment’ on GOV.UK to find out more.”

Additionally, it has been recently reported that over 20,000 customers were unable to pay their tax bill in full and could use the self-serve Time to Pay facility. 

This payment plan facility is worth £46million and operates to help customers who are worried about the tax they owe.

It enables customers to spread their tax bill out into manageable monthly instalments rather than a large one-off bill that could see them facing financial hardships as a result.

The facility is available for those with a tax bill of up to the value of £30,000. 

Anyone owing in excess of this amount, as well as those who may no longer need to pay, should call the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

Have you claimed SEISS grants during Covid? Email [email protected] if you want to share your story.

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