To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2021 to Question 166463 on Taxation: Self-assessment, how many and what proportion of people already in receipt of a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grant received prior notice that failure to submit a tax return for the tax year 2019-20 by (a) 2 March 2021 or (b) any other date would result in them being ineligible for the fourth and fifth grants.
18 March 2021
The Government announced at Budget 2021 on 3 March 2021 that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant. This provides certainty on the policy to business as the economy reopens and means that the SEISS continues to be one of the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.
The Chancellor also announced that the fourth and fifth SEISS grants would be based on 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns and individuals must have submitted their 2019-20 tax return by 2 March 2021.
The effect of this is that more than 600,000 people are brought into scope who either became self-employed in 2019-20, or were ineligible for previous grants but now may be eligible for the fourth grant on the basis of submitting their 2019-20 Self Assessment tax return.
As in previous years HMRC ran a prominent communications campaign in order to prompt taxpayers to file their return by the due date. This year, in addition, they issued further press releases during February, complemented by messaging via social media and, where possible, direct emails and SMS texts to taxpayers who had not yet filed returns, and their agents.
HMRC analysis of filing volumes around this period suggests that an estimated 97% of individuals who claimed the third SEISS grant (about 2.1 million people) had submitted their 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax return by 28 February.