Coronavirus: Tell HMRC and pay back a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant

News article

Find out what to do if you need to pay back some or all of a SEISS grant

You must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if, when you made the claim, you were not eligible for the grant. For example:

  • for the first or second grant, your business was not adversely affected
  • for the third, fourth or fifth grant, your business had not been impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade in the relevant periods
  • you did not intend to continue to trade
  • you've incorporated your business

You must also tell HMRC if you:

  • received more than HMRC said you were entitled to
  • amended any of your tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 in a way which means you’re no longer eligible or are entitled to a lower fourth or fifth grant than you received
  • made a mistake reporting your turnover in your claim for the fifth grant which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received
  • have received a letter from HMRC that says you need to pay back some or all of a grant

When you must tell HMRC

In most cases, if you're not eligible and have to pay the grant back, you must tell HMRC within 90 days of receiving the grant.

For the fourth and fifth grants the rules for when to tell HMRC are different if amending your return affects your eligibility or grant amount. 

If your return has been amended
You must tell HMRC if there is an amendment to any of your tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 which either:

  • lowers the amount of fourth or fifth grant you’re eligible for
  • causes you to no longer be eligible for the fourth or fifth grant

If your return has been amended before claiming your grant, you must tell HMRC within 90 days of receiving your grant.

If your return has been amended after receiving your grant, you must tell HMRC within 90 days of making the amendment.

If you do not tell HMRC, they will write to you to recover the grant and you may also have to pay a penalty. Find more information on how HMRC will recover your overpaid grant.

You do not have to tell HMRC if the grant amount:

  • you are eligible for has lowered by £100 or less
  • was £100 or less

If you’re not sure, you should still tell HMRC about the amendment using the online form.

If you made a mistake when reporting your turnover
You need to tell HMRC if you:

  • made a mistake reporting your turnover in your claim which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received
  • later realise you should have reported a different turnover figure in your claim which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received

Voluntary repayments
You can also tell HMRC if you want to voluntarily pay back some or all of the grant you received. You can do this at any time.

What you will need

You will need your:

Check how to tell HMRC and pay money back

The process is different depending on why you need to pay the grant back.

Use this service to check whether you need to tell HMRC and pay back some or all of a grant.

Start now

If you cannot use HMRC online services

If you’re not able to use HMRC online services, you can contact HMRC for help.

Penalties for not telling HMRC

If you do not tell HMRC within 90 days of your amendment, or payment of the grant, you may also have to pay a penalty.

Find more information, see penalties for not telling HMRC about coronavirus (COVID-19) support scheme overpayments.

Contacting HMRC

HMRC are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts their essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.


First published 15 July 2020