Newly self-employed asked to complete pre-verification checks before applying for fourth SEISS grant

Newly self-employed taxpayers may be required to undergo pre-verification checks before they can access the fourth self-employment income support (SEISS) grant, it has been revealed.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) wrote to over 100,000 businesses this week informing them about the changes.

The move comes after the Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the SEISS to include those who became self-employed in 2019/20 and who completed a tax return for the same year.

Under the scheme, self-employed workers affected by Covid-19 could get up to 80 per cent of their average trading profits in a three-month period as a one-off lump sum.

However, the regulator has warned that newly self-employed traders will need to confirm their identity and business activity before they can apply for a grant.

According to HMRC, affected workers will receive a telephone call over the next two weeks during business hours (8:00 to 17:30) and will be asked to provide an email address and agree to receive a link to a secure Dropbox – an online platform where electronic documents can be deposited securely online.

To complete the pre-verification check, you will need to provide one form of identity, such as your driver’s licence or passport, and three months’ worth of bank statements to demonstrate your business activity.

HMRC warned that failure to provide such information could exclude you from the scheme.

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