Updated: Aug 7, 2021
HMRC has issued a warning to workers eligible for the fifth and final Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant to be wary of scammers after a spike in fraudulent activity.
Applications for the fifth SEISS opened recently, prompting the warning from HMRC.
Struggling self-employed workers that include taxi drivers and other trades people, can claim the fifth grant if they think that their business profit has been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.
A spokesperson from HMRC warned self-employed workers: “We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts.
“If someone gets in touch claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond.”
Workers can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to email@example.com and texts to 60599.
HMRC had already contacted eligible workers in early July to give them a personal claim date. Eligible customers can then apply anytime from their personal claim date until 30 September 2021. The online claims service is now open for those with earlier individual claim dates provided by HMRC. The dates handed out by HMRC range from the end of July through to the first week of August.
The value of the fifth and final grant will be determined by how much the worker’s turnover has been reduced in the year 2020-21 compared to before the pandemic.
People whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850.