Coronavirus: new SEISS scheme opens

Those eligible under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which has so far seen 2.7 million claims worth £7.8 billion, are able to claim a second and final grant from this week.

If you’re eligible, you should have been contacted by HMRC already with details of how to make your claim, with initial applications staggered between 17-21 August.

Am I eligible?

If you’re self-employed (including members of partnerships) and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July, you will have until 19 October to make your claim.

It’s important to note that the application process is driven by those truly self-employed people who are on HMRC’s radar by having filed Self-Assessment Tax Returns, and 2018-19 tax year is the key year. Furthermore, SEISS is designed for those who continue to rely on self-employed work as their main source of income (including all other sources).

The eligibility criteria remain the same as with the first SEISS grant so unfortunately self-employed individuals whose trading profits are £50,000 or more, are not covered.

For further information or to see if you’re eligible and how much you could receive, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

Key points

  • You will be able to make a claim for the second grant even if you didn’t claim for the first one, as your business may only have been adversely affected by COVID-19 in this later phase.
  • The grant will broadly be worth 70% of your “average monthly trading profits”, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
  • Those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account within six working days of completing the claim, so it’s advisable to get your application in as soon as possible.
  • Whilst the grant itself does not need to be paid back, it is subject to Income Tax and National Insurance at the current rates.
  • It’s important to note that self-employed workers can continue to work whilst claiming Income support through SEISS. This is in contrast to the wage support offered by the Job Retention Scheme for employers, which stipulates that employees do not work in order to be eligible.

Beware of HMRC scams

You can only access this scheme through GOV.UK. Therefore, if someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help, or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

For further information or advice on any of the issues raised, or for help with services like bookkeeping, cash flow management or payroll during the Coronavirus pandemic, please call us on 01225 325580, email info@richardsonswift.co.uk, or contact your usual client director.

Please note that this is only a summary of the main issues and should not be construed as advice. Every effort has been made to ensure factual accuracy at the time of publication (20 August 2020), however, the government response to the Coronavirus situation can change rapidly, so it should not be relied upon completely.