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HMRC starts to assess overclaimed SEISS grants

HMRC is writing to taxpayers whose entitlement to the fourth or fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant has been reduced by more than £100 following an amendment to a Self Assessment tax return made after 2 March 2021.

HMRC starts to assess overclaimed SEISS grants
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From April 2022, HMRC is writing to taxpayers who it has identified as needing to repay all or part of their fourth or fifth SEISS grant following a tax return amendment. HMRC is also checking whether any amendment means that the taxpayer is entitled to the lower level (30 per cent) rather than the higher level (80 per cent) fifth grant.

When calculating the fourth and fifth SEISS grants HMRC based its calculations on the tax return data for 2016/17 to 2019/20 held in its systems on 2 March 2021. All 2016/17 to 2019/20 tax returns filed by 2 March 2021 were taken into account, as were any amendments made by that date.

Amendments to tax returns for any of the relevant tax years made after 2 March 2021 that would reduce the amount of the grant by more than £100, or would cause the taxpayer to be no longer eligible, must be notified to HMRC and the appropriate amount of grant repaid.

Amendments include HMRC corrections, taxpayer amendments and HMRC amendments made as a result of an inquiry. Contract settlements, revenue assessments or charges raised are not included as these are considered not to modify the tax return.

Note that entitlement to the first three SEISS grants is not affected by subsequent amendments to tax returns.

The letter includes a formal assessment and details of how the amount due has been calculated.

If the taxpayer accepts the assessment, they should pay following the instructions on GOV.UK and quoting the reference number on the assessment that starts with the letter X. If the taxpayer cannot afford to make immediate payment, they should phone HMRC on 0300 322 9497 to make a Time to Pay Arrangement.

A 5 per cent late payment penalty will apply if payment is not made within 30 days of the due date shown on the assessment, or a Time to Pay Arrangement is not set up by that date. Interest will be applied to any amounts unpaid by 31 January 2023.

If the taxpayer does not accept the assessment an appeal should be submitted in writing within 30 days of the date of the letter.

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