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Second grant available

Those eligible under the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), which has so far seen 2.3m claims worth £6.8bn, will be able to claim a second and final grant in August.

  • The grant will be worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

  • Individuals can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until 13 July. Applications for the second grant will open in August.

  • The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.

  • An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant, for example in circumstances where they may only have been adversely affected by Covid-19 in this later phase. Further guidance on the second grant will be published on 12 June.

Full details on this scheme, can be found on the following Government website.

Applying for a grant

From Monday 4th May HMRC have started to contact the self-employed, who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), to invite them to check whether they are eligible. HMRC have used information entered on tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 and sent emails, text messages or letters to those individuals that they think are eligible. The correspondence contains a link to an online tool for the eligibility check to be made.

You can however check your eligibility without having received the invite from HMRC, by following the link Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and completing the same online tool.

To complete the online tool you will need

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online

To be eligible you must:

  • must have traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
  • your self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must come from self-employment, determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:
    • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
    • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

We as agents are able to complete the online eligibility check for you if required.

If you are eligible

You will be asked to give your contact details and be given a date after the 13th May, the date the claim service becomes live, to complete the claim form. On completion of the form you will be told immediately whether or not your claim is successful and the money will be paid by bank transfer by the 25th May or within 6 working days of days of the claim. It is not known at this stage what information will be required on the claim form but we understand that it is being designed to be straightforward.

If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available, the details of which are not available at this time. We will update this information when it is available. We, as agents could make this application for you if necessary.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

HMRC will work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then we will divide by 3. If you have not been self-employed for all three years your average trading profits will be divided by the number of years which you have actually traded

The grant will be 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether.

If you’re not eligible

If you are told that you that you’re not eligible to make a claim, you can ask HMRC to review this after you’ve completed the online tool by following the link above and using the guidance at the end of the process.

You can look to getting further help by claiming Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance. Further information can be found by following the links

If you need any further information or help please let contact Greg Langley.