Claims open for second self-employed support grant

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Millions of self-employed people whose trade has been hit by coronavirus can now apply for a second support grant from the government.

More than three million people may be eligible for the payment of up to £6,570 each, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak said would be the final hand-out.

A self-employed woman

The first grant, launched in May, saw £7.8bn claimed by 2.7 million people.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has admitted thousands were paid too much, but it will not be demanding repayment.

Some 15,000 payments – less than 0.6% of the total – were miscalculated in the first tranche of support, the tax authority said.

“The vast majority of grants were paid correctly, but in a very small number of cases, not all the information held on a tax return was taken into account when calculating eligibility and grants,” said a spokesman for HMRC.

“Our top priority has been ensuring self-employed people receive grants quickly while protecting public money from deliberate fraudsters.”

Legal services firm Integrated Dispute Resolution, which highlighted the error, said the scale of it was still not “fully understood”.

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