If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be eligible to receive a grant from the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
The scheme allows claims of a taxable grant of 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether.
You can check if you are eligible to claim using the eligibility checker. You will need your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number, National Insurance number and a Government Gateway ID.
In a small number of cases, the checker is giving an incorrect not-eligible result. This mostly affects those who only recently filed their 2018/19 self-assessment return. HMRC is updating the system so you should keep trying the checker. The eligibility checker also includes an option to request a review, these will be considered by HMRC at the end of May.
The eligibility criteria are that you:
- traded in the tax year 2018/19 and submitted a 2018/19 self assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020
- traded in the tax year 2019/20
- intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/21
- carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
The SEISS portal opens for applications in phases between 13 and 18 May. Payment will be made by early June 2020 if your claim is approved.
Those who are digitally excluded and unable to claim online are expected to be able to make claims by phone – full details not yet available.
There is, at the moment, no specific deadline for making claims for SEISS grants. Taxpayers who claim universal credit may be better off if they delay the claim so that receipt falls into a later monthly assessment period.
During the application process you will be given a calculation of the amount of the grant you are eligible to claim, you will not need to enter any figures or information about your income. There is no option to claim an increased or reduced amount of grant, you can only claim the amount of the grant as calculated by HMRC and request a review, via the link provided, if you think that the amount is wrong. The grant is calculated based on the trading profits shown on the tax returns; no adjustment is made if you only traded for part of the tax year.
If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.
The grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.
You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including:
- the amount claimed
- the claim reference number for your records
- evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus
You will need to report the grant:
- on your Self Assessment tax return
- as self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims
- as self-employed income and that you’re working 16 hours a week for any tax credits claims
We can help you get the information together to make a claim and work out if you are eligible, but you must make the claim yourself.
If we can support you with this please contact us.
If you are not eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, you may be able to find alternative financial support:
- delay VAT payments
- delay their Self Assessment payment on account
- arrange to pay their Self Assessment tax bill in instalments
- get a payment from the Small Business Grant Fund
- get a loan from the Business Interruption Loan Scheme or Bounce Back Loan
- get Universal Credit
- apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- apply for Child Benefit.
SCAM ALERT: 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 email@example.com and then delete it.