News article

Coronavirus: Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

30 July 2020


If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) use this scheme if you're eligible to claim the grant.

The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant.

The scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you'll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

You can make a claim for the second and final grant if you're eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

What you willl need

You will need your:

1) Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
2) National Insurance number - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost National Insurance number
3) Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
4) UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:

  • bank account number
  • sort code
  • name on the account
  • your address linked to your bank account

How to claim

The online service is not available yet. If you're eligible you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020. HMRC will contact you if you're eligible.

HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate. If you know you’ve been overpaid or are not eligible for the grant and do not tell HMRC you may have to pay a penalty.

Return to your claim

You can:

After you've claimed

HMRC will check your claim and pay your grant into your bank account in the next 6 working days. HMRC will send an email when your payment is on its way.

Do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made your claim and you have not received your payment in that time.

If your business recovers after you've claimed, your eligibility will not be affected. You must keep evidence to confirm your business was adversely affected at the time you made your claim.

What happens next

If you think you were not eligible for the grant or have been overpaid
Tell HMRC and pay back the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant if, when you made the claim you:

  • were not eligible for the grant
  • received more than we said you were entitled to

When you must tell HMRC depends on the date you received your grant.

If you received the grant:

  • before 22 July 2020 you must tell HMRC on or before 20 October 2020
  • on or after 22 July 2020 you must tell HMRC within 90 days of receiving the grant

If you do not you may have to pay a penalty.

Find out more about when you may have to pay a penalty and other information, including:

  • how HMRC decides how much the penalty will be, which could be up to 100% of the grant amount
  • when you will not have to pay a penalty
  • how to appeal against a penalty

You can also tell HMRC if you want to voluntarily pay back some or all of the grant you received. You can do this at any time.

If you think the grant amount is too low
HMRC has used the information you or your tax agent or adviser sent them on your Self Assessment tax returns to work out your grant amount.

If you think the grant amount is too low, you should check how much you’ll get or contact your tax agent or adviser for help.

If you still think the grant amount is too low, you can ask HMRC to review your grant amount. You or your agent will need:

  • your grant claim reference
  • your National Insurance number
  • the Unique Taxpayer Reference you used on your claim
  • details about why you think the grant amount is wrong
  • the Government Gateway user ID you used to make a claim

If you're a tax agent or adviser asking for a review on your client’s behalf, you must use your own Government Gateway user ID.

You may also need the figures HMRC gave you in the grant calculation when you made your claim.

Record keeping and reporting
You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including:

  • the amount claimed
  • the claim reference number

You should also keep any evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus such as:

  • business accounts showing a reduction in turnover
  • confirmation of any coronavirus-related business loans you have 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 or caring responsibilities due to school closures

You will need to report the grant:

The grant should be treated as income received on the day it’s paid for any Universal Credit claims or tax credit changes.

The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance from the day you receive it.

Contacting HMRC
You should first check the other support available to you.

HMRC are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts their essential public services at risk during these challenging times. But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.


First published 26 March 2020