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Self-employment Income Support Scheme: Taxation

Question for Treasury

UIN 139996, tabled on 19 January 2021

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to use 2019-20 tax returns to determine eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Answered on

25 January 2021

The Government recognises that taxpayers have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and it has prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is one of the most generous in the world and has received claims from almost 2.7 million people so far, totalling over £18.5 billion.

The practical issues that prevented the Government from being able to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the SEISS, namely that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) do not have access to the full set of 2019-20 self-assessment returns needed to verify their eligibility, still remain. The latest year for which HMRC have tax returns for all self-employed individuals is 2018-19.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

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