Are you eligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant?
As Britain returns to lockdown, it’s a tough time for the self-employed but the good news is that the government has announced the extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The grant will cover the period from 1 November to 31 January 2021.
How does SEISS claim work?
SEISS grants will offer 80% of your average trading profits, capped at £7,500 overall.
To be eligible for the grant:
- You must declare that your business has been impacted by reduced demand because of Covid-19 in the qualifying period. This is a little different from previous grant schemes and means you cannot claim if you’re unable to work because you were self-isolating or shielding. Additional expenses such as PPE are also excluded from this grant.
- You must have filled in a tax return for 2018/19. This means you must have been self-employed prior to April 2019. The last possible date to file a 2018/19 tax return was 23 April 2020. If you only had a few months self-employment on your 2018/19 tax return this will count as your income for the whole year – HMRC will not pay you pro rata based on a handful of months.
- You must earn more than 50% of your income from self-employment. To verify this HMRC will check your 2018/19 tax return first. If you’re not eligible they will average your prior three years income to see if you qualify on that basis.
- Your average trading profits must be less than £50,000 a year. If your profit in 2018/19 exceeded £50,000 HMRC will average the previous three years to see if the average is below £50,000.
- You must be actively trading and intend to continue trading
Other things worth knowing
- You can keep working if you have applied for the grant.
- You don’t need to have previously applied for the other SEISS schemes to be eligible
- You can still apply for Universal Credit but the SEISS counts as income and will decrease the amount of Universal Credit you receive
- SEISS can be claimed in addition to local lockdown payments
- Sadly, if you made a losses in 2018/19 and the previous three years you will get nothing
How to claim SEISS grant?
SEISS grant applications opened on 30 November. To apply visit https://gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme
You will need the following information to apply:
- Your unique taxpayer reference
- Your National Insurance number
- Government Gateway user ID and password
- UK Bank details
You must claim for yourself. A claim submitted by a tax agent or financial adviser will trigger a fraud alert.
You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021.
Grants for businesses in England that have been forced to close during lockdown
These grants are available from 1 November and as soon as a business is forced to close for at least three weeks
Businesses with a rateable value of or below £15,000 can claim £1,300 per month
Businesses with a rateable value between £15, 001 and £51,000 can claim £2,000 per month
Businesses with a rateable value exceeding £51,001 can claim £3,000 per month
These grants are administered by local authorities - you’ll need to contact them to apply.
- These grants cannot be paid on a weekly equivalent
- The grant is per property e.g. two restaurants closed equals two payments
- The grant is taxable income
Grants for businesses in Wales that have been forced to close during lockdown
Businesses that have to close during the “fire-break” that started on 23 October and ends on 9 November can claim
- £1,000 for businesses covered by small business rates relief
- £5,000 for small and medium sized retail, hospitality and leisure businesses forced to close