Professional services company Optimum is advising self-employed business owners and sole traders to check carefully before applying for the second round of Government coronavirus relief funding.
Thousands of self-employed people benefitted from the first
tranche of the self-employed
income support scheme (SEISS). The second round of funding opens for
applications from 17th August but is aimed only at those who have
been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14th July.
If there is an
overpayment, HMRC has to be notified of this within 90 days of the claim being
submitted. Failing to do so could incur penalties of between 30 per cent and
100 per cent of the overclaimed amount.
Tax Supervisor at Optimum, said, “With the SEISS, HMRC carries out its own
assessment and if an individual meets certain criteria they are invited to
apply. These criteria are that the business has to have been adversely affected
by the pandemic, that the individual traded in 2019/20 and that they intend to
continue to trade in 2020/21.
“With the first
round of SEISS claims, HMRC had self-assessment returns to base its information
on. This second round depends on current trading, only applying to businesses
adversely affected on or after 14th July.
round is also more complicated because the onus is very much on the individual
to ensure they meet the criteria. If they don’t, and they overclaim and fail to
notify HMRC of this, then penalties will be incurred.”
HMRC has issued
guidance on what it means by ‘adversely affected’. This includes the business
having stopped trading temporarily, being scaled back or having incurred extra
Mandy added, “The
rules around SEISS and other support are not as straightforward as they might
appear. Throughout lockdown and as we emerge from the restrictions, we have
been working closely with clients, including SMEs, business owners and the
self-employed, to ensure they understand what they can claim and also to help
ensure their businesses are in the best position as we move forward.”
For more information about Optimum Professional Services visit the company website.
Pictured: Mandy Gibson