The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is a government grant scheme that aims to help self-employed people who have been impacted by coronavirus. So far, there have been four rounds of the scheme. The government has announced that the fifth and final round of the self-employed grant is now open.
Here is everything you need to know about the grant, including who is eligible for the fifth round, how you can apply and how much you could get.
How does the self-employed grant work?
Since its inception, the self-employed or SEISS grant has undergone several changes. Overall, the scheme pays a taxable grant up to a proportion of someone’s average trading profits over the previous three years for a period of three months.
For example, the very first round of the self-employed grant paid self-employed people whose businesses had been affected by Covid-19 80% of trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500. This was reduced to 70% in the second round, although it has gone back up to 80% in subsequent rounds of the grant.
Who is eligible?
The fifth grant will be available to self-employed people who think their business profits will be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic between 1 May 2021 to 30 September 2021.
Those who were eligible for the 4th grant should also be eligible for this fifth and final one.
In order to count as eligible, you must:
- be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim if you trade through a limited company or a trust.
- have traded in the tax years 2019-20 (and submitted your tax returns on or before 2 March 2021) and 2020-2021.
- have trading profits of no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.
According to HMRC, when you make your claim, you must declare that you:
- intend to keep trading in 2021-2022.
- reasonably believe that there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of Covid-19.
How much is the self-employed grant worth?
The amount you will be able to claim will depend on how much your turnover has reduced in the tax year from April 2020 to April 2021.
If your turnover is down by 30% or more, you can claim 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500.
If your turnover is down by less than 30%, you will be able to claim 30% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850.
The government has provided guidance on how to work out your turnover.
How can I claim the fifth self-employed grant?
HMRC has been contacting those who are eligible for the fifth self-employed grant since mid-July.
Claims can be made via the HRMC website. Official guidance from HMRC says that to make a claim, you will need your:
- Self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR) number
- Government Gateway user ID and password
- UK bank account details
- National Insurance number
It’s also helpful to keep relevant evidence that shows how your business has been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The final date that you can make your claim is 30 September 2021.
After claiming, you should receive the grant in your account within six days. In case it’s late, HMRC asks that you wait for at least 10 working days before you contact them.
What other help or support is available?
If you are unable to claim the fifth self-employed grant, you may be eligible for other government support, such as Universal Credit. You can use the government’s online tool to find out what support you can get if you’ve been affected by Covid-19.
Organisations such as the Money Advice Service, StepChange and Citizens Advice are also there to provide impartial guidance and advice on how to access support if you are currently experiencing money stress or problems.
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