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More info on claiming the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme SEISS grant

Updated: May 4

HMRC have released more info on how claims through the SEISS will be made later in May with a view to payments being made early in June.

It’s now well worth you spending a few minutes checking that you have everything you need to make your claim, so that you don’t get held up when they press the ‘Go’ button.

We are necessarily only making short and general points here – if you are in any doubt about your particular circumstances, call us for free advice on 08000 487626 or email hello@accounting4actors.co.ukwe are not charging for any advice on matters to do with the disruption.

You will have to handle the claim yourself, even if you usually use an accountant to do your tax return – although your accountant should help you if you need help (we certainly will).

You will need your UTR, your NI number, and your Government Gateway ID. It is worth checking that you have all these now, if you’re at all unsure.


Your UTR is your 10-digit reference code which is always printed on the top of your tax return and on any correspondence with HMRC. If you do your own tax return, look at your last one and it will be on the top, or login to HMRC and your account info page shows it. If you use an accountant to do your tax return, and you can’t find a copy of your last one, your accountant definitely has your UTR.


Your NI number is also printed on your tax return and is on any payslip, P45 or P60 that you have from any job, old or current.


Your Government Gateway ID is different to your UTR. It is the login code that you have used for the past few years to login to HMRC’s website if you have done your own tax return. If you have used an accountant for the past few years, it is possible that you don’t have a Government Gateway ID, or that you’re unsure if you have or not. In which case:


First, check with your accountant. Then, if they are unsure whether you do or don’t have a Gateway ID, go to HMRC’s sign in page and click the “forgotten Govt Gateway User ID and password” button. That will take you to helpful instructions about how to find your ID, or to sign up for a new one if you never had one, which in most cases takes only a few minutes.

It remains unclear exactly how HMRC are going to tell you that they think you are eligible for the money, and should apply. They still haven’t said if this will be by letter or email. Obviously, either of these could go wrong in 100 ways, so if you find out that people are starting to claim (which will be obvious from social media, and from news broadcasts) but you have not heard, and you think you are eligible, start by logging into your Business Tax Account with your Government Gateway ID. That will contain more info, and a link to contact HMRC about this process if you need to.


As of the morning of 4 May, you can pre-register for SEISS at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference This won’t necessarily work in every case, so you may still need to take further steps after 14 May if you haven’t been invited to apply.


A reminder of the three most common questions we’ve answered about all this:


  • You are entitled to this money even if you are working now (as long as you have suffered a fall in self-employment income from the crisis), even if you are furloughed from a PAYE job (as long as you qualify on the calculations), and even if you claimed Universal Credit in the past month or two.

  • The grant itself is taxable in this year’s calculations, when you come to make them next year, as if it was a fee paid to you for work done.

  • You will not get this grant if you started your self-employment after 6 April 2019, but we reckon that will change, especially if there are future rounds of SEISS in the event of an extended lockdown, or a second lockdown. So get your 19/20 tax return in now if you possibly can.


It’s going to be rocky, inevitably. We are here to help you.


Please get in touch with us if you have any questions at all. We’ll chat to you about your affairs with no obligation on you whatsoever.


Please visit www.accounting4actors.co.uk to talk to leading actors’ accountants and find out about tax accounting for creative and cultural industry professionals, actors’ tax returns, and all accounting for creatives – we also think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at our low prices, and we will defer all 2020 fees until the tax deferment period ends.

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