Self Employment Income Support Scheme

We are gathering information on the Self Employment Income Support Scheme SEISS and updating this page as it is released from the government. The latest announcements are also covered in our blogs. 

Update SEISS extended – second and final grant available in august – claims from 17 August

Update 2 July: If you are eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 you will be able to make your claim from 17 August. The government has updated its guidance on what constitutes your business being ” adversely affected”  – see below. It has also clarified that if having a new child affected your trading profits for the tax year 2018/19 or meant that you did not submit a self-assessment tax return for that year, you may still be able to claim. Additionally if you are a military reservist who carried out specified reservist activities, you may also be able to claim SEISS.  

“Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:

  • you’re unable to work because you:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • you’ve had to scale down, temporarily stop trading or incurred additional costs because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come in to work
    • one or more of your contracts have been cancelled
    • you had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules”

Update 13 June: The Government has confirmed that a second and final grant can be claimed under SEISS. The second taxable grant, worth 70% of the eligible self employed person’s average monthly trading profit and capped at £6,570 in total, will be paid in a single instalment covering June, July and August. The same eligibility criteria apply to the second grant, as they did to the first and claimants will have to confirm that their business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020. Claims can be made from 17 August. Individuals do not have to have claimed for the first grant in order to claim for the second. The online service for the second and final grant is not yet available.

The government has updated its guidance regarding SEISS to provide further information about the extension to the scheme.

the self employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – First Grant – deadline for claim 13 July 2020

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by Covid-19, you could claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid in a single instalment covering 3 months – March, April and May – and capped at £7,500. 

You can continue to work, start a new trade, take on other employment, volunteer, and still receive the grant. The grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

HMRC advise that they will work out if you are eligible and how much grant you will get.

Who can claim?

It is important to note that HMRC will contact you if it believes that you are eligible to make a claim. It will use the following criteria.

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 on or before 23 April 2020
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19, for example as a result of shielding, self isolation, sick leave, caring responsibilities, supply chain issues, few/no customers/clients, staff unable to work.
  • your self-employed trading profits/partnership trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income comes from self-employment.

If you are not eligible to claim based on 2018/19 Self Assessment Tax Return, HMRC will then look at the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

HMRC will start contacting those it believes are eligible, through a combination of emails, SMS text and letters this week to tell them what they need to do to get ready to claim. To manage the volume of applications, HMRC is opening the GOV.UK online claim service in tranches based on the tax payers unique taxpayer number (UTR).

Also from this week, people will be able to use the new online eligibility checker. To use the tool you will need your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference  (UTR) number and your National Insurance Number. If the checker  confirms that you are eligible, you will be asked to submit contact details so that HMRC are able to tell claimants what to do before you submit your claim using the government’s online service from midday on 13 May.

HMRC is aiming to ensure all payments are made by 25 May. HMRC will calculate the amount of the payment. It will be a single instalment covering 3 months based on 80% of your average monthly trading profit over 3 tax years ending 2018/19, capped at £7,500 and paid directly into your bank account.

It is also important to note, that if we act for you as your agent, we are not able to make a claim for you. We can guide you through it, but you must make the claim yourself. We can check if you would be eligible to make a claim using the same eligibility checker GOV.UK online tool. and review your calculations.

Not eligible?

If HMRC tells you that you are not eligible to make a claim, you can ask HMRC  to review this after you have used the online checker.

Scam warnings

If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. You should email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.

What do you need to make your claim?

  • Self Assessment UTR – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
  • National Insurance number – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online
  • bank account number and sort code you want HMRC to pay the grant into (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.
  • If you claim the grant HMRC will treat this as confirmation you are below the state aid limits.[Maximum level of State Aid that a business may receive across all measures under the European Commission’s Temporary Framework is 800,000]

HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate.

After you have claimed

  • HMRC will give you an immediate decision, and if approved, your grant will be paid into your bank account within 6 working days.
  • We remind you that you are required to keep copies/records of the amount claimed, claim reference number, and evidence of adverse affects of coronavirus on your business
  • the grant must be reported on your Self Assessment tax return, as Self-Employed Income for any Universal Credit Claim, as self-employed income and that you are working 16 hours a week for any tax credit claims.

 reference documents and useful links:

Government guidance on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

How HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme  

How different circumstances affect the Self Employment Income Support Scheme – State Aid

 

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