SEISS extended until end of September

Posted by karengray - March 3, 2021 11:25 pm The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is a government initiative designed to help provide support for self-employed individuals whose businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19. For more details on the SEISS Grant and how to apply please scroll down the page.

Claiming the 5th SEISS Grant

You will be able to claim the 5th SEISS Grant from late July. The latest available information on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant is available on GOV.UK. More detailed guidance is expected to be published in late June and we will keep you posted as soon as we receive further news.

This information will include further details of the turnover test which determines the level of grant (80% or 30%) you may receive:

  • if your turnover has reduced by 30% or more in the year April 2020 to April 2021, you will receive a grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits (capped at £7,500)
  • if your turnover has reduced by less than 30% in the year April 2020 to April 2021, you will receive a lower grant worth 30% of three months’ average trading profits (capped at £2,850).

HMRC have advised us that they will contact eligible individuals from mid July, to let them know their personal claim date, the earliest date a claim can be made. If HMRC previously informed you that you were not eligible for the 4th SEISS Grant then you will unfortunately not be eligible for the fifth grant either. This is due to that fact that the same tax returns have been assessed to determine your eligibility for both grants.

updated 08/06/2021

If you are confused about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) then please do not hesitate to contact your nearest MFW office for help.

Claiming the 4th SEISS Grant

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) online service is now closed for 4th grant claims.

updated 08/6/2021

Here’s what you need to know

Personal claim dates

HMRC has begun contacting eligible customers to give them a personal claim date, from which they can make their SEISS claim. This is to assist in speeding up the claim process.

HMRC will contact you by email, letter or through the online service, depending on what contact details they hold for you. Once you have your personal claim date then you can claim from this date until the online service closes once again at 11:59pm on 1 June 2021. Please do not try to claim before your personal date.

Ineligible customers

HMRC are also contacting individuals who have previously claimed SEISS support but who are no longer eligible for the scheme.

This will be for a number of reasons including:

• failure to file a 2019-20 Self Assessment return on or before 2 March 2021
• if HMRC deem that the information on their 2019-20 Self Assessment return means you no longer meet the eligibility criteria, and;
• if you have permanently ceased trading.

If you believe this is incorrect HMRC are asking you to follow the guidance contained in their letters which will ask you to log into the Government Gateway and use the online assistant to find out why. If you still need support after logging in you should contact HMRC using the COVID-19 helpline (0800 024 1222).

Unfortunately, MFW as tax agents, are not able to submit claims on your behalf and any attempt to do so could be seen as tax fraud. However, please do contact us if you are concerned about your eligibility or need any support with your claim as we are here to help.

What you need to do now

To make a claim log in to your Government Gateway account using your user ID and password. If you do not have a Government Gateway account (for example, you are newly self-employed), you should create one now to avoid any delay with your claim.

To confirm their eligibility and make your claim, you will need your:

  • National Insurance number
  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

To log into your account you will need the following:

  • your bank account number and sort code: For a building society account, you should include the roll number, if you have one
  • details of the address of your bank or building society account is registered to

Do ensure you keep accurate records of your claim in case HMRC contact you at a later date. You must be able to show the negative impact of COVID-19 on your business to qualify for SEISS.

If you have not claimed before

If this is your first time claiming SEISS you may be asked additional questions to prove your identity. Questions could relate to any of the following:

  • your UK passport
  • information held on your credit file (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
  • your Self Assessment tax return (this must be within the last three years)
  • your tax credit claim
  • your P60
  • one of your three most recent payslips.

Please note that your claim could be delayed if you cannot answer the identity verification questions.

Reasonable belief

In order to claim the fourth grant, you must reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits, due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021. You must keep evidence of this in case of a future HMRC check. HMRC are now checking to ensure now claims have been claimed in error or fraudulently.

Significant reduction

Before making a claim, you will have to review whether the impact of COVID-19 on your business between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021 will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in. HMRC will not decide for you as individual and wider business circumstances will need to be considered when deciding whether the reduction is significant.

HMRC are advising that you should wait until you have a reasonable belief that your trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before making your claim.

You do not have to consider any other coronavirus scheme support payments that they have received when deciding if you have had a significant reduction in their trading profits.

The government have issued some examples that you can use to help you reach your decision. These can be viewed here.

Amendments to 2019-20 SA returns after 3 March 2021

If you make or have made an amendment to your 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 or 2019-20 tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 you must notify HMRC within 90 days if the amendment either:

  • lowers the amount of SEISS grant you are eligible for
  • causes you to no longer be eligible for a SEISS grant.

You may need to pay back some or all of the grant if HMC are not notified. If you do not notify HMRC within the 90-day period you may also have to pay a penalty. However, you do not need to notify HMRC if:

  • the amount they’re eligible for is lowered by £100 or less
  • they are no longer eligible and the grant they received was £100 or less.

If you are not sure whether your grant amount has been reduced you should contact HMRC for further help. Or contact us for further support.

Spring Budget 2021 update

3/3/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his second Spring Budget today outlining further support for self-employed individuals as we transition out of lockdown. In his Budget he extended the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) until the end of September 2021.

SEISS will now feature a fourth and fifth grant.

You may now be able to make a SEISS claim even if you have not previously claimed, as long as you have submitted your 2019-20 tax return by 2 March 2021 and are eligible. This should help newly formed businesses who have previously not been able to claim SEISS.

HMRC will contact you in mid-April if you are eligible to provide you with your personal claim date., the date that you can make your claim from.

Fourth SEISS grant

The UK Government will pay a taxable grant calculated on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single payment and capped at £7,500 in total. The value of the grant is based on an average of your trading profits for up to four tax years between 2016 to 2020, where available. To be eligible your trading profits cannot exceed £50,000 and you must also be able to demonstrate that your business has experienced a significant financial impact from coronavirus between February 2021 and April 2021.

The grant will be available to claim from late April.

As the calculation now takes into account the tax year 2019-20, and if you previously claimed SEISS, you may receive a grant which is higher or lower in value than previously received SEISS payments.

HMRC will be making further checks to limit fraud and now have a £100m Task Force for tackling Coronavirus Fraud. They will be writing to customers to explain that they will call them to ask for proof of identity and evidence of trade.

How to claim the fourth SEISS grant

From mid-April, you will be given your own personal claim date by HMRC confirming the earliest date you can claim. Businesses are being invited to claim on different days to ensure the system is fast and easy to use.

The online claims service for the fourth grant will be live from late April. You must claim the fourth grant between your personal claim date and no later than the 31‌‌ ‌May 2021.

It is essential that you keep evidence to support your claim.

Fifth grant

The fifth and final SEISS grant will cover the period May to September. The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced as a result of Covid.

The grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500, for those with a higher reduction in turnover (30% or more). Or, for those with a lower reduction in turnover, of less than 30%, then the grant will be worth 30% of three months average trading profits.

What you need to do

To confirm eligibility and make a claim you should have the following to hand:

  • National Insurance number
  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • bank account number and sort code.

Claiming SEISS for the first time

If you are claiming SEISS for the first time HMRC may ask you additional questions to prove your identity. To answer these additional questions you should be ready with the following:

  • UK passport
  • credit file (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
  • Self Assessment tax return (within the last 3 years)
  • driving licence (DVLA UK or DVA NI)
  • tax credit claim
  • P60
  • three most recent payslips.

For more information please refer to the GOV.UK website here.

Further updates on SEISS

Updated 26 January 2021

The deadline for claiming the third SEISS grant is fast approaching. If you are eligible you must make your claim on or before 29‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

As with the first and second SEISS grants, the third grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must also be reported on your 2020-21 Self Assessment tax returns (to be submitted by 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2022).

Confirming a significant reduction in trading profits

Before you make a claim for the third grant, you must be sure that the impact on their business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits.

You do not have to consider any other coronavirus scheme support payments you have already received when deciding whether you reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during 1‌‌‌ ‌November 2020 to 29‌‌‌ ‌January 2021 (period covered by the third grant).

The third SEISS grant and working parents

If you are unable to work because you have caring responsibilities due to school closures, and you meet all other conditions, you will be eligible to claim, provided you reasonably believe that the impact of taking this time off will significantly reduce their trading profits for the year that they report them in. 

Details of the eligibility criteria can be found on GOV.UK.

Updated 24 November

3rd SEISS grant payment

The SEISS has been extended. However, please note that if you were considered not eligible for the first or second grants based on the information submitted in your Self Assessment tax returns, then you will not be eligible for the third grant payment.

How to claim the 3rd grant

In order to qualify for the third SEISS grant your business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021. Claimants need to be warned that HMRC will expect you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits. The grant does not need to be repaid if you’re eligible, but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must be reported on your 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return.

Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

How much is the grant?

If you are eligible, the third grant will amount to 80% of your average monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500. The third grant will also be paid out in a single payment.

Example:
Average trading profit £42,000
Divide by 12 £3,500
Multiply by 3 £10,500
Work out 80% £8,400
You will only receive £7,500 due to the cap

There will be a fourth grant covering February 2021 to April 2021. We will keep you updated of this grant when we have more details.

When can you claim?

Applications will open on 30 November 2020. You can claim the third grant from this date by email, letter or within the dedicated HMRC service. Please note that you must make your claim for the third grant on or before 29 January 2021.

Keep evidence of your claim

You should ensure that you keep all supporting evidence to support your claim incase you are need to produce this at a later date.

What you need to do now

Follow the steps below for advice on what to do next:

Who can claim

  • To be eligible for the third grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.
  • If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.
  • You must have traded in both tax years:
  • 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • 2019 to 2020
  • You must either be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus or 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
  • Reasonable beliefIn order to claim, you must reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period 1 November to 29 January 2021. You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected. Whilst HMRC cannot decide this for you they have listed some scenarios for you to review in order to help you decide.

How HMRC works out your eligibility

  • HMRC will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. To be eligible your trading profits must be no greater than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.
  • If you’re not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, we will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.

How different circumstances affect the scheme

There are some circumstances that can affect your eligibility such as if:

  • your return is late, amended or under enquiry
  • you’re a member of a partnership
  • you had a new child
  • you have loans covered by the loan charge
  • you claim averaging relief
  • you’re a military reservist
  • you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis
  • state aid

The government is also providing the following help for the self-employed:

Getting more help

For more help please visit the full SEISS details on the GOV.UK website here.

Updated 5 November

Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak once again addressed parliament in view of the second lockdown and current economic climate. He announced a number of measures including increasing the support of the next SEISS grant.

This grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. The Government will pay a taxable grant, paid out in a single payment, based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits and capped at £7,500.


The SEISS Grant Extension will last for six months in total, from 1 November 2020 to 30‌‌‌ April 2021. A further grant will cover February to April, as grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period. The Government will set out further details, including the level of that grant, in due course.

Full details including how to check if you are eligible for the grant and how to claim it will be will be published on GOV‌‌‌.UK week commencing 23‌‌‌ November. We will provide you with an update thereafter.

There are individuals, however, that do not qualify including:

  • Sole traders with a profit >£50,000
  • Freelancers
  • New self-employed individuals, and;
  • Individuals who pay themselves in dividends.

We will post more details shortly.

Extension to SEISS

On 24 September, Chancellor Rishi Sunak addressed the House of Commons with his Winter Economy Plan which sets out further Covid-19 measures as we head towards the winter season. One of the measures announced was the SEISS Extension Grant Extension Scheme which will last for 6 months, from November 2020 to April 2021. The grant extension will represent two taxable grants.

First grant

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. The government will provide a taxable grant covering 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ profits, capped at £5,160 in total.

Please note that the grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November. This therefore increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for November to January.

Second grant

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The government has yet to announce how much the second grant will amount to. We will update you once this has been announced.

You should note that the grants are taxable income and subject to National Insurance contributions.

Eligibility

  • To be eligible for the scheme, self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships – must:
    • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
    • intend to continue to trade and either:
      • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
      • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.

For more information ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extension‘ on GOV‌.UK for further information.

2nd SEISS payment update

The original scheme was extended by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and will include a second and final Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. The second grant will be available from Monday 17 August.  If you want to claim the second grant, you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.

If you were eligible for the first grant and can still demonstrate to HMRC that your business was adversely affected, as at, or after, 14 July 2020, you will be eligible. 

The claim will amount to 70% of your average monthly trading profits, capped at £6,570 and monies will be paid out to you in one lump sum.

If you did not claim the first grant, you can still claim the second grant, subject to eligibility.

Repaying the Grant

The grant does not need to be repaid, unless HMRC conduct an enquiry into your tax affairs and believe it was incorrectly claimed.  The full value of the grant is subject to tax and national insurance.

Can you claim?

You can claim if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

What does HMRC mean by adversely affected?

HMRC will consider a business to be adversely affected, if:

  • you are unable to work because you:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • you have had to scale down your business, temporarily stop trading or incurred additional costs because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come in to work
    • one or more of your contracts have been cancelled
  • you had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules.

Making a claim

It is important to note that you must make the claim yourself as we you cannot instruct a tax agent to do this on your behalf.  If you do so this would trigger a fraud alert, and you would have to contact HMRC. This would cause a significant delay to you receiving your payment.  Of course, at MFW we available to talk you through the process if you need further clarification or guidance.

Checking eligibility

From Monday 17 August you can use the online claim tool to check if you are eligible. You will be able to search for the SEISS claim tool on HMRC’s website. To use this tool you will need your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and your National Insurance (NI) number.

To make a claim you will need your:

  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    • bank account number
    • sort code
    • name on the account
    • your address linked to your bank account

HMRC have provided some examples of how they view adversely affected businesses.  These examples can be viewed here

It is very important that you keep all evidence to support your claim and to prove to HMRC that your business was adversely affected.

To make a claim all of the following has to apply:

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus 

If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

When you cannot claim

You will be unable to claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust. 

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but even if the claim is not approved it will affect your tax credits if you claim them, and may affect other benefits.

Therefore, it is important that you:

  • check how tax credits and other benefits affect each other
  • find out what to do if you’re already getting benefits

If you make a claim for Universal Credit the grant may affect the amount you get, but will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.

The government is also providing the following help for the self-employed:

  • deferral of Self Assessment Income Tax and VAT payments
  • grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Bounce Back Loan
  • If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may also be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

More information

For more information please visit the Gov.UK website.

Our additional services to help you cope

Many businesses will see an impact on staff absences caused through self-isolation.  We can help with any immediate needs to cover key functions. These include:

  • Virtual financial staffing cover
  • Virtual FD services
  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Financial forecasts to help you in obtaining business loan funding from banks
  • Advice with loan repayment holidays, overdraft extensions etc.
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll & BACS services
  • Credit control and business continuity services
  • Cloud accounting software solutions Alternatively, please contact your local MFW office (link) for further information as to how

Beware of ‘HMRC spamming’

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. Please report any such incidences to HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. Do not open any links and delete the email.

New HMRC helpline to help speed up enquiries

The new number is: 0800 024 1222

The original 0300 will now be redirected. Opening hours – Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:00.

Webchat

HMRC also have a webchat service you can use for help when making a SEISS claim.

Further government business advice and help: