Sara Dennis, Director at Bevan Buckland

Sara Dennis, Director at Bevan Buckland LLP explains the responsibility to inform HMRC if you have been overpaid for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS).

HMRC has now issued guidance on how taxpayers should notify and repay the SEISS and JRS grants which have been overclaimed or if a taxpayer was not entitled to receive it.  The legislation was given Royal Assent on 22nd July 2020 giving HMRC powers to recover payments that recipients were not entitled to receive.

You must inform HMRC with regards to a SEISS claim if you:

  • Received more than HMRC said you were entitled to or
  • Were not eligible for the grant in the first instance, such as:
    • Your business was not adversely affected
    • You did not trade in the tax year 2019 to 2020
    • You did not intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
    • You have incorporated your business since 5/4/2018

There is now an obligation on recipients to notify HMRC of overpayments within a prescribed period.

For the SEISS the notification period ends are:

  • 20th October 2020 for grants received before 22/7/2020 or
  • 90 days after the date the grant was received in all other cases

For the CJRS:

  • 90 days after the date the grant was received or
  • 90 days after the day circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the grant – or 20th October 2020

A penalty of up to 100% of the overpaid amount could be charged if a deliberate and concealed failure to notify HMRC of the overpayment occurs. Relying upon a reasonable excuse for any non-disclosure would be irresponsible and is likely to receive the appropriate response from HMRC.

HMRC have provided an online form for notification of overpayments of SEISS grants at GOV.UK. The form can also be used to make a voluntary repayment of all or part of the grant.  If an error has been made on a CJRS claim which means too much has been claimed, the overpayment should be included on the next online claim thereby reducing the new claim.  If a business is not planning to submit any further claims it should contact HMRC to pay back the money.

For more information, about the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS). Contact us on 01792 410100 alternatively email mail@bevanbuckland.co.uk