HMRC has issued a warning to sole traders looking to make a claim for the fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, saying they should be aware of scams.
The tax body has stated that online scammers are focusing their energies on those applying for the grants, which are available to sole traders and partnership members that are experiencing ongoing loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous four SEISS grants have seen the government pay out over £25 billion to the almost three million people that are eligible for them.
Now, the fifth SEISS grant is launching for applications, but according to the Liverpool Echo, HMRC has posted a tweet on its official Twitter account urging claimants to be wary of scams:
“Scammers are targeting the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. GOV.UK is the only place you can make your claim – fifth grant opens for claims soon.”
As with the four earlier grants, claimants will not be able to get an accountant for sole traders in Goole or wherever they live to claim on their behalf. Checking procedures with an accountant first will help reduce the risk of falling for a scam though.
HMRC has also provided a guide that is designed to help people avoid this. It points out that any surprise texts, emails or calls that offer grants, rebates or refunds are likely to be scams. This is particularly true of those that make threats of legal action or ask the recipient to provide sensitive details, such as their bank account information.