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Support widened for the self-employed impacted by the pandemic through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Posted on 11 Mar 2021 - News

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In the Budget it was confirmed that the fourth SEISS grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500.

The fourth grant will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020. The rest of the eligibility criteria remains unchanged.

The Scheme will also now be open to those who have not been able to apply and the newly self-employed, if they filed a Self-Assessment Tax Return by midnight on 2nd March 2021.

The UK government has also announced that there will be a fifth and final grant covering May to September.

Your eligibility for the scheme will now be based on your submitted 2019 to 2020 tax return. This may also affect the amount of the fourth grant which could be higher or lower than previous grants you may have received.

Who can claim?

To be eligible for the fourth grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

To work out your eligibility we will first look at your 2019 to 2020 Self-Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.

If you’re not eligible based on your 2019 to 2020 Self-Assessment tax return, we will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.

You must also have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020 and submitted your tax return by 2 March 2021
  • 2020 to 2021

You must either:

  • be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

You must also declare that:

  • you intend to continue to trade
  • you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus

What the fourth grant covers

The fourth grant will provide a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits. The fourth grant will be paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total.

How to claim

To allow us to process recently submitted 2019 to 2020 Self-Assessment tax returns, the online claims service for the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021.

If you are eligible, HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you your personal claim date. This will be the date that you can make your claim from.

There will be more guidance about the fourth grant in due course.

The fifth and final grant

If you are eligible you will be able to claim for the fifth and final grant, covering May to September, from late July.

The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.

The fifth grant will be worth:

  • 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500, for those with a turnover reduction of 30% or more
  • 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850, for those with a turnover reduction of less than 30%

Further details are expected on the fifth grant in due course.

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