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Self-employment Income Support Scheme: Directors

Question for Treasury

UIN 110759, tabled on 3 November 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing self-employed limited company directors to claim for support from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension.

Answered on

11 November 2020

The practical issues that prevented the inclusion of Company Owner-Managers in the original Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), namely not being able to verify the source of their dividend income without introducing unacceptable fraud risk, still remain.

As with the previous SEISS grants, it is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources, and between dividends in lieu of employment income and as returns from other corporate activity.

This means, unlike the SEISS grants that use information HMRC already holds, targeting additional support would require owner-managers to make a claim and submit information that HMRC could not efficiently verify to ensure payments were made to eligible companies for eligible activity. This is about managing and securing the SEISS Grant Extension against fraud risk and misuse.

These eligibility criteria strike the right balance between ensuring support is granted to those who need it, whilst protecting value for the taxpayer.

Those ineligible for the SEISS Grant Extension may still be eligible for other elements of the unprecedented financial support available. This includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

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