SEISS Grant – Support for Self-employed During COVID-19

April 8, 2020

 

The word ‘furlough’ is now part of our everyday vocabulary as we discuss the Government support available for workers, employees and employers during COVID-19, but what support is available for self-employed workers?  

The Government has introduced a Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) that will allow self-employed workers to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months if your income has decreased because of Coronavirus.  

Can I apply for the scheme?

  • You can apply for the scheme if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • Have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19;

  • 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; or

  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19.

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income comes from self-employment.

How much will I receive from the Government?

You will receive a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years between 2016 – 19, where applicable. HMRC will add together your total trading profit for the 3 tax years then divide by 3 to calculate your average monthly amount. You will be entitled up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months, and the grant will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How do I apply?

You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online through GOV.UK. However, be aware of cybersecurity attacks during this unprecedented time – if you are frequently being contacted by HMRC saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund that asks you to click on a link or provide further information, this may be a scam.

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, the Government will be in contact with you to tell you how much you will receive and the payment details. If you claim tax credits, you will need to include the grant in your claim as income.

Other support for self-employed individuals

You may also be eligible to benefit from other support that is provided by the Government. These include:

  • Deferral of Self-Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020;

  • Additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding to support small businesses;

  • Increased amounts of Universal Credit; and

  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support small and medium businesses.

 

 

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