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Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – Are you eligible for a grant?

HMRC have issued updated guidance for those that are self-employed or members of partnerships. The full guidance can be found by following the link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#history

We have prepared a brief summary of the key points to note and actions to take below:

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership, you may be eligible for a grant under the SEISS.

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.
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. HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get.
The portal for making claims will be opening next week – we currently expect this to be from midday on 14th May, but this may change. HMRC expect to make payments from early June. When submitting a claim, you will be required to confirm that you have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 – we would expect that this is the case for the vast majority of our self-employed clients and HMRC are expected to take a pragmatic approach to this point.

Prior to the claim portal opening, it is possible to check whether HMRC has assessed you as being eligible for the scheme. To check this, you will need to enter your UTR (the 10 digit tax reference) and your National Insurance number at the following link:
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

HMRC are advising that claims under SEISS can only be made by the tax-payer and not by agents such as ourselves. To be able to make a claim, it is necessary to have a Government Gateway ID. If you do not have one, you can set one up by following through the links once you have confirmed your eligibility above.

Not all self-employed people will be eligible for SEISS. The principal reasons for not being eligible are:

  • Average trading profits are above £50,000 per annum;
  • Trading profits are less than half of total income;
  • No self-employment income was reported on your 2018/19 tax return; or
  • You have ceased self-employment.

Action Points

If you believe that you will be eligible for the SEISS, we would recommend that you take the following steps:

  1. Use the link above to check your eligibility
  2. If you do not already have a Government Gateway ID, please register for one by following through from the link above
  3. If HMRC have assessed that you are not eligible but you believe that this assessment is not correct, please contact us and we can investigate for you.

As ever, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

A complete, regularly-updated page listing the full range of support available and other helpful information can be found on our website at https://www.cottonsaccountants.co.uk/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

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