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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Update

Author: Kingsley Sansom

Tags: Coronavirus, grants, SEISS

The information about SEISS has been released over six months so it has become fragmented, we attempt to draw the strands together in this note.

First, an important date – claims for the second SEISS grant (see below) must be submitted by 19 October 2020.

Who is eligible?

The SEISS grants are available to self-employed individuals whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020. Eligibility criteria are set out below.

The first grant is available to individuals (sole traders or partners) who were self-employed in the 2018/2019 tax year and who had submitted their tax return by 23/04/2020, provided that their self-employed income for 2018/2019 or for the average of the three tax years (or if less, the total period of trading) to 05/04/2019 was no more than £50,000 and no less than half of their total income for the period.

The second grant (which is taxable) is 70% of 3 months’ worth of the average trading profits over the three tax years (or if less, the total period of trading) to 05/04/2019 capped at £6,750 in total.

How do I claim a grant?

Grants are claimed via a special portal and claims can only be made by the tax payer, not their agent.

What are the conditions?

The scheme is being extended and anybody who is eligible for the current scheme (even if they don’t make a claim under it) is eligible. Subject to:

  • declaring that they are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade
  • declaring that they are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus in the qualifying period 1/11/2020 to the date of the claim. It is important to note that this is a lot tighter than the equivalent condition for the current scheme that the business has been adversely affected (for example, because of increased costs or staff shortages)

What happens in the extension period?

The extension period runs for six months from 1/11/2020. There will be two taxable grants:

  • the first covering the period 01/11/2020 to 31/01/2021 will be 20% of 3 months’ worth of average monthly profits, calculated on same basis as for the current scheme and capped at £1,875 in total
  • the level of grant for the second period covering 01/02/2021 to 30/04/2021 is yet to be announced

The claiming process is yet to be announced but it is a fair bet that the existing infrastructure will be used.