Specialist Tax News

Penalties for overclaimed SEISS grants

HMRC are reminding sole traders and partners who have received Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants that there are potentially penalties of up to 100% of amounts overclaimed in certain circumstances.

HMRC may apply the penalty where they believe that the trader knew that they were not entitled to the grant and did not tell HMRC within a 90-day notification period. The law treats the failure as ‘deliberate and concealed’. This means HMRC may charge a penalty of up to 100% of the amount of the SEISS grant that the trader was not entitled to receive or keep.

Traders are required to notify HMRC if there is an amendment to any of their tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 which either:

  • lowers the amount of the fourth or fifth grant they are eligible for
  • causes the trader to no longer be eligible for the fourth or fifth grant

If the tax return was amended before claiming the fourth or fifth grant, traders had to tell HMRC within 90 days of receiving the grant. If the tax return has been amended after receiving the fourth or fifth grant, traders must tell HMRC within 90 days of the amendment.