How to claim SEISS Coronavirus Grants
There have been a lot of questions not so much on how to claim SEISS Coronavirus Grants but should you claim SEISS Coronavirus Grants. HMRC have published a great video walk through which shows how to claim and emphasises if you should claim.
Some of the questions we’ve seen raised on Tamebay include the likes of (paraphrased) “I had a couple of suppliers shut down but trading profits were up compared to last year, last year sales were down but during the pandemic sales bounced back to be as good as the year before”. It’s likely that HMRC would consider the downside of a couple of suppliers shutting down in conjunction with the boost your business received from the pandemic resulting in a bumper quarter’s sales and conclude that your business, far from being adversely affected, benefited from the pandemic. Let’s face it – every business has challenges from time to time but if overall business was up then you might want to think very carefully about claiming public funds.
There are two slides on the presentation you will want to consider. The first is the screen shot of the how to claim page which clearly states “Claim a grant through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – Use this scheme if you are self-employed…. and have lost income due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)”. There is a clear direction that the overriding reason for claiming is that you have lost income, not that you could potentially have made even more if all of your suppliers had been open for business.
The other slide to bear in mind shows the screen where you complete a declaration during the application process. It states “HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover funds found to be dishonest or inaccurate”.
You should also carefully check the slide detailing the evidence you are required to keep demonstrating that your business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus for if HMRC decide to examine your claim in more detail which could be many months into the future when it appears on your tax return. HMRC states that valid evidence includes:
- Business accounts showing a reduction in turnover
- Confirmation of any Coronavirus-related business loans received
- Dates your business had to close due to lockdown restrictions
- Dates you or your staff were unable to work due to Coronavirus symptoms, shielding, school closures
Remember that you will need to report your SEISS Coronavirus Grants on your 2020/2021 tax return alongside the income that you made during that financial year.