Guidance

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

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

You must tell 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 or fourth 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 us if you:

  • received more than we 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 grant than you received

When you must tell HMRC

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

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

If your return has been amended

You must tell us if there is an amendment to any of your tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 which either:

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

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

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

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

You do not have to tell us if your grant amount has lowered by £100 or less. If you’re not sure, you should still tell us about the amendment using the online form.

Voluntary repayments

You can also tell us 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:

How to tell HMRC and pay money back

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

If your return has been amended

Follow these steps to tell us if any of your tax returns were amended after 3 March 2021.

  1. Tell us about the amendment using the online form.

  2. After you tell us, we’ll send you a letter confirming if your grant has been affected, how much you need to pay back and how to pay it.

If you were not eligible when you made your claim or would like to make a voluntary repayment

Follow these steps to tell us if you were not eligible for your grant or you received more than we said you were entitled to. You can also use these steps to make a voluntary repayment.

  1. Tell us if you need to pay back some or all of the grant using the online form.

  2. After you’ve used the service, you’ll be given bank details to pay the money back.

We will only contact you if there is a problem with your payment.

If you cannot use our online services

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

Penalties for not telling HMRC

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

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

Contacting HMRC

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

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

Published 14 July 2020
Last updated 18 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. New information added explaining when and how to tell HMRC about a tax return amendment if it affects your eligibility or grant amount. Links to more information on penalties and how HMRC can recover overpaid grants have also been added.

  2. New guidance on ‘If amending your return affects your grant amount or eligibility’ added under ‘How to tell us’ section.

  3. This guidance has been updated with information about the fourth SEISS grant.

  4. Added translation

  5. Added translation

  6. Information about when you must tell HMRC and pay the grant back has been added, also included details about when you may have to pay a penalty.

  7. First published.