HMRC confirms a number of overpayments have been made through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
12 August 2020
HMRC has confirmed that there are a number of self-employed individuals who have been paid incorrect amounts under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), and some people have even been paid the grant in error, and should not have received any financial support at all under the scheme.
Additionally, HMRC has stated that this is only an issue that impacts a small number of people.
The Financial Adviser reported that a HMRC spokesperson said:
“We have robust processes in place to prevent grants being paid incorrectly but a small number of people were paid grants in error and some received an incorrect amount.
“The vast majority of grants were paid correctly but in a very small number of cases not all the information held on a tax return was taken into account when calculating eligibility and grants.
Our top priority has been ensuring self-employed people receive grants quickly while protecting public money from deliberate fraudsters.
On this occasion we will not reclaim these payments to avoid unnecessary hardship for taxpayers who may have already used the money.”
The SEISS was initially launched in May, to help self-employed individuals who did not qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). It allowed claimants to receive up to 80% of their earnings, capped at a maximum of £2,500 per month. The scheme was extended to allow for a second and final grant to be paid to eligible individuals, this time up to 70% worth of average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £6,570. HMRC has confirmed that those who were impacted by the previous calculation error will not receive the overpayment again if they go on to make a second claim - they will, in fact, receive a lower sum to account for the previous overpayment.
Claims for the final grant can be made from 12 August 2020 up until the scheme’s closing date of 19 October 2020. Following the submission of a claim, HMRC will conduct checks and pay the grant into the bank account provided within six working days.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.