A south Cumbria accountant has warned that people who accessed the Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme may be hit with five-figure bills when they file their January tax return.

Almost three million individuals who were either self-employed sole traders or partners in a partnership had registered for 9.9 million grants by mid-August.

But Paul Hornby has warned that many may have done so in error and could have to pay the money back if their business was not adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “The grants were designed to support businesses that had, or predicted they would be, materially impacted in revenue terms by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The reality is that many businesses actually thrived during the pandemic and, far from revenues being negatively impacted, they flourished.

“In these instances, the SEISS grants should never have been claimed. The government’s financial support package has been huge; by far its most significant fiscal intervention since the Second World War.

“Having dished out more than £27bn in support grants, there’s no way they will idly sit back and allow individuals who should never have claimed them to keep the money.

They will be looking for payback where it is due and my fear is that many people will not realise this.”

The government launched its Self Employment Income Support Scheme in March 2020, and there have been a total of five rounds of funding made available, with payments stopping at the end of September.

HMRC has already issued guidance to recipients of grants, urging them to assess whether they were actually eligible for them.


source : https://www.in-cumbria.com/news/19731535.accountant-paul-hornbys-warning-businesses-january-tax-return/

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