More news on grants for self-employed

There’s new guidance and other help for self-employed traders who want to claim the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. What’s the latest?

Scheme outline

The Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) went live on 13 May 2020 and is available to sole traders and members of business partnerships. It will pay a quarterly grant equal to the lesser of 80% of your average monthly trading profits and £7,500. The good news is that you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work even if you apply for and receive a grant. Note. Any grant you receive will count as taxable income when you come to work out your profits or losses for the business.

Invitation from the Taxman

HMRC is using information on its system to identify individuals who appear to meet the primary conditions to qualify for an SEISS grant and is contacting them to ask if they want to make a claim. However, HMRC’s records can’t show the effect, if any, that coronavirus is directly or indirectly having on an individual’s income. It is therefore up to you to make a claim if you believe you’re entitled.

Basic qualifications

To qualify for a grant you must have been a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership in business in 2018/19 and submitted your self assessment tax return for that year on or before 23 April 2020. You must have continued in business in the current tax year, i.e. beyond 5 April 2020. Additionally, your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to other non-trading income you received. If you’re not eligible based on the 2018/19 figures HMRC will work out if you can qualify based on an average profit figure over the last three tax years. Be aware that there are various reasons which can mean you’ll be excluded from the SEISS. These are listed in HMRC’s new guidance

To help you decide if you are eligible for an SEISS grant HMRC has created an online tool.

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