There have been many Covid-19 support schemes, administered by HMRC, for example:
- Eat Out to Help Out payments
- The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
- Test and trace or self-isolation payments (in England, Scotland and Wales)
- Coronavirus Business Support Grants
- The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme; not forgetting
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Professionals rely on HMRC’s guidance and support, as these are also amongst the payments and grants that need to be reported on the company tax return (for Corporation Tax) or the Self-Assessment return (for Income Tax).
Via August’s Agent Update, HMRC advised that the Covid Helpline (0800 024 1222), set-up in March 2020, will close on 18 September 2023. It is perhaps understandable, that as Covid-19 support payments and grants have ceased, the support for these should also cease. However, do remember there are recordkeeping requirements for each so, whilst the schemes themselves have ceased, our obligations have not.
Also, it is the direct support to business or self-employed individuals that is ceasing. If you have an agent services or HMRC online account for agents, this support remains in place.
On 12 June 2023, HMRC closed its Self-Assessment helpline (0300 200 3310) for the summer. The reason for this say HMRC was that the summer period was quieter for Self-Assessment queries plus the availability of online guidance and digital resources remained available.
The good news is that this line re-opens on 04 September 2023.