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Can you still get SEISS if your tax return was late? In what circumstances? | Personal Finance | Finance


The highly-anticipated fourth SEISS grant is now available to claim via the Government website. The grant is the fourth instalment from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which was first introduced in early 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to get the grant, claimants must meet extensive eligibility criteria.

Cutting through the jargon can be confusing, however, it doesn’t need to be.

Express.co.uk readers have written in about questions on the Self Assessment deadline and SEISS eligibility.

So read on for your questions answered by experts.

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Commenting on the subject of late tax returns, Amanda Lennon, employment partner at SpencerWest, told Express.co.uk: “Unfortunately, if you file your tax return late, you are likely to be rejected if you then apply for the SEISS grant.

“This seems rather harsh if the reason you did not file your tax return on time is outside of your control, for instance, ill health.

“If you do have a genuine reason for filing your tax return late and you wish to apply for the grant, I recommend you contact your accountant, or HMRC using their web chat or helpline options (which is all that appears available to you) to see if an exception could be made in your case.

“However, exceptions are likely to be few and far between.”

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The general consensus among finance experts is people who filed their tax return after the deadline are unlikely to be accepted for SEISS.

Tom Moyes, a Partner in the Employment team at Blacks Solicitors, also told Express.co.uk: “You cannot apply if your tax return is submitted on or after March 3, 2021.

“HMRC appears to have taken a strict approach towards this.

“Also, what differs from previous payments is that if you make an amendment to your tax return after the cut off date you will need to contact HMRC and let them know within 90 days. You may also need to pay part of the grant back.”

In what circumstances will HMRC accept a late tax return?

Emily Coltman FCA, Chief Accountant at FreeAgent, told Express.co.uk: “If you didn’t file your tax return by March 2, then officially you would not qualify for the fourth SEISS grant.

“If, however, you had a reasonable excuse for filing your tax return late, such as the death of a partner or close family member, or you were affected by coronavirus, then I would say it is still worth putting in an application for the grant – the worst HMRC can do is to say no!”

HMRC has outlined how some circumstances can affect eligibility for SEISS on the Government website HERE.

People who aren’t eligible for SEISS may be eligible for other support, such as Universal Credit.

Further information about support for people affected by coronavirus can be found on the Government website HERE.

Information on how to contact HMRC for help with the SEISS scheme can also be found HERE.



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