Doing your tax return? Don't forget to declare COVID grants

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Date: 4 January 2022

Self employed woman declares her SEISS payments via her tax return

HMRC has reminded self assessment customers to declare any COVID-19 grant payments, including SEISS, on their 2020/21 tax return.

More than 2.7 million customers claimed at least one Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) payment up to 5 April 2021. These grants are taxable and HMRC says customers should declare them on their 2020/21 tax return before the deadline on 31 January 2022.

SEISS is not the only COVID-19 support scheme that customers should declare on their tax return. If customers received other support payments during the pandemic, they may need to report this on their tax return if they are either self-employed, in a partnership or run a business.

Information on which support payments need to be reported to HMRC and any that do not is available on the government website. HMRC says it is important that customers check and make any changes to their tax return to make sure any COVID-19 support payments have been reported correctly. HMRC has created resources to help customers complete their tax return including content on YouTube, webinars, help-sheets and guidance.

Tax payers that are employed and received furlough payments during the 2020/21 tax year will need to enter their earnings and income tax as stated on their P60 - this will include any furlough payments received up to 5 April 2021.

For those worried that they may struggle to pay their self assessment tax bill on time, HMRC is offering the self-serve Time to Pay facility. The online payment plan enables customers to spread the amount owed into monthly instalments, up to the value of £30,000. If customers owe more than £30,000, or need longer to pay, they should call the self assessment payment helpline on 0300 200 3822.

The deadline for filing an online tax return is 31 January 2022. HMRC is urging tax payers not to leave it to the last minute. Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's director general for customer services, said: "Filling in a tax return won't have been on many people's to-do lists for Christmas, but please don't leave it until the end of January either."

In fact, data from HMRC shows that 2,828 customers filed their self assessment tax return on Christmas Day. In total, more than 31,000 customers submitted their 2020/21 tax return between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, the majority on Christmas Eve.

As scammers try to take advantage of tax payers at this time of year, HMRC is advising customers to type in the full online address www.gov.uk/hmrc in order to get the correct link for filing their self assessment return online securely and free of charge.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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