HMRC will be writing to 100,000 taxpayers who became newly self-employed in 2019/20. HMRC aims to protect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme from fraud and will therefore ask these taxpayers to complete a pre-verification check. Taxpayers will be asked to confirm their identity as well as providing evidence of trade.
Selected taxpayers will receive a letter between 8th March and mid-April 2021 to notify them that they will receive a phone call from HMRC within ten working days.
When HMRC ring, they will ask the taxpayer to confirm their email address and agree to receive an email with a link to a secure Dropbox. Following the phone call, taxpayers will then have two days to upload a form of identity along with three months’ worth of bank statements, demonstrating their business activity.
HMRC will make three attempts to phone taxpayers before sending a final reminder letter. If a taxpayer fails to complete the checks, they will be unable to claim the fourth grant.
ICAEW’s Tax Faculty are in talks with HMRC to discuss those taxpayers who are digitally excluded and may have difficulty completing the required verification checks. There have also been concerns surrounding postal delays and taxpayers receiving a call before their letter, as some may fear this is a COVID-19 scam and not comply.