Self-employed need online account to access government support

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is urging self-employed people to ensure they have a Government Gateway account set up ahead of 13 May, when the system for claiming grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) goes ‘live’.

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is urging self-employed people to ensure they have a Government Gateway account set up ahead of 13 May, when the system for claiming grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) goes ‘live’.

The SEISS allows self-employed individuals whose business are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to claim a taxable grant of up to 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.  The online system to claim grants under the scheme is due to open next week from 13 May 2020.1

Jeremy Coker, ATT President, said:

“In order to claim amounts they are entitled to under SEISS, self-employed individuals will need to have an active online account known as a Government Gateway account.  This is the case even if they usually use an agent to handle their tax affairs, as SEISS claims can only be made by the individual taxpayer, and not by an agent on their behalf.

“If individuals do not already have a Government Gateway account, they should take steps to set one up as soon as possible to ensure they are ready to make their claim when the system goes 'live' next week.”

Previously, the process of applying for a Government Gateway account involved a letter being sent in the post.  To speed things up, HMRC have streamlined the gateway application process for the purposes of claiming under SEISS.

Jeremy Coker continued:

“We welcome HMRC’s decision to make the Government Gateway application process quicker and simpler, especially given the short amount of time remaining until the SEISS claim window opens.

“To ensure they can access this streamlined application process, self-employed individuals should use HMRC’s simple online eligibility checker and follow the hyperlinks provided.2 They will need to have a mobile phone or landline telephone to hand in order to receive a verification code, as well as a copy of their passport or driving licence.3

“This process should allow them to set up their much needed Government Gateway account relatively quickly. To ensure there are no unexpected delays we would recommend they do this as soon as possible.”


Notes for editors

  1. More information on the SEISS can be found on the ATT website.
  2. HMRC’s online eligibility checker, which can be accessed here was launched on Monday 4 May.  Individuals are requested to input their unique taxpayer reference and National Insurance number.  They will then be told whether, based on information HMRC hold, they may be eligible to claim under the SEISS scheme. Those who may be eligible will then be prompted to log into their Government Gateway account to confirm their contact details, or to set an account up where they do not already have one.
  3. Passport / driving licence details will be used to verify an individual’s ID when setting up their Government Gateway account.  If individuals do not have either of these they can also confirm their ID by verifying financial information held by HMRC.

 

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