COVID-19 Update - 11 May - SEISS and new advice on Government Gateway IDs - Wright Vigar
 In Advice, Blog, News

Following on from our previous SEISS information, HMRC has updated the process for obtaining a government gateway ID for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Eligibility and Pre-Application Stage

In the week where HMRC starts contacting taxpayers about their eligibility for support under SEISS, it has changed the process by which IDs to access the government gateway are created to avoid delays. The eligibility checker is available on and is open to anyone to use, not just those who have been contacted by HMRC.

Taxpayers who already have a government gateway ID which gives access to HMRC’s self-assessment services will be able to use that ID when applying for their SEISS grant.

Those who do not have a government gateway ID are now prompted to create one when they use the eligibility checker, rather than at the application stage as was originally the plan.

When creating an ID through the SEISS service, the taxpayer is asked to verify their identity by providing details from their driving licence photocard or their UK passport. Taxpayers without either of these documents will be asked for a piece of financial information, for example, the date they set up a mobile phone contract.

When a government gateway ID is created as part of the SEISS service (eligibility checker or application stage) there is no requirement for an authentication code (PIN) to be sent in the post.

Taxpayers who need to create a government gateway ID to claim an SEISS grant are advised to do so through the SEISS service, rather than through any other route on, to ensure the correct type of ID is set up and to avoid the need for an authentication code in the post.

ICAEW previously advised waiting until the application stage, but now that HMRC has improved the process of creating the government gateway ID at the eligibility checker stage is the preferred option to avoid delays.

As a reminder, there is useful information (and examples) on how HMRC will work out your trading profits and non-trading income if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership at

It is worth noting that profits and losses of the three relevant years are added together before dividing by three to arrive at an average profit.

How to Apply

Applications will open to taxpayers on a staged basis between 13 and 18 May, with the portal opening on different days for different taxpayers. HMRC will email taxpayers who have provided an email address (when using the eligibility checker or previously) to confirm when the portal is open for them or may send an SMS message. Taxpayers can also use the eligibility checker to check the application portal is now open for them.

Taxpayers then log in to their government gateway account (or select the option to create an account) to complete the application process. They are presented with a detailed calculation and are asked to:

  • read and accept the eligibility criteria;
  • complete declarations, including to confirm that the business has been adversely affected by coronavirus; and
  • supply the bank account details into which they would like the grant to be paid.

The taxpayer does not need to provide any information about their income – the calculations are all done by HMRC based on the tax returns submitted. HMRC will check the claim and expects to make payments from 25 May 2020 within six working days of the application being submitted, whichever is later.

PLEASE NOTE: to guard against fraud the emails and SMS messages from HMRC do not include active links. If a taxpayer receives an email or SMS purporting to come to HMRC which includes an active link, that email or SMS is a scam.

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