HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be contacting 24,000 people who received the self-employment support grant, to question whether these claimants where actually trading since 2018/19 and ongoing at the time of lockdown.
The Coronavirus Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) came as 2 grants to cover 3 months each for businesses hit by the pandemic.
Businesses hit by coronavirus and had been trading in the 2018-2019 financial year and the following year and where planning to continue to do so where eligible to claim the grants.
Around 2.7 million people claimed.
HMRC has written to people that at some point have stopped trading and would only be eligible if they have re-started trading again.
People that made a SEISS claim and have stopped trading have until 20th November 2020 to respond to the letter to avoid a penalty.
HMRC has admitted in the first tranche of the support they did miscalculate around 15,000 payments.
Also, HMRC said “£258 million in grants could have been fraudulent or paid in error where fraudsters may have claimed under names of innocent people.
When government money is 'sloshing around' and it is a voluntary disclosure and claim, it is so easily susceptible to fraud.