On 26 February 2021 HMRC emailed a number of self-employed businesses requesting them to prove that they are still trading, before they will be able to claim the next two SEISS grants.
As HMRC don’t often send emails directly to taxpayers you may have missed it or presumed it was yet another scam. This email needs to be responded to by Monday 22 March otherwise you will be blocked from receiving further SEISS grants and could have a formal compliance check into your tax affairs.
The email states that if you indicated that you had stopped trading on your 2018/19 or 2019/20 tax return, it means you may not have been eligible to receive a grant and may need to repay the money. You must have carried on a trade in both tax years 2018/19 and 2019/20 it doesn’t have to have been the same trade, as long as you have been trading this will meet the criteria HMRC have laid down.
HMRC want to establish that businesses have continued to trade or there is an intention to continue to trade by providing advertising, business transactions, contracts for goods/services provided or payments made through the business account.
If the business has stopped trading since the last SEISS claim that does not mean the earlier grants have to be repaid. If the taxpayer had the intention to trade at the time they applied the “continuing to trade” condition will have been met.
You can contact HMRC on 03000 322 9430 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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