Help for the Self-Employed – the final SEISS grant

28 June 2021 - Elizabeth O'Hanlon

The fifth and last Self Employment Income Support (or SEISS) grant for self-employed individuals will be open to claims from late July 2021. The grant covers May to September 2021, is taxable and will be paid out in a single instalment.

Guidance for claiming the grant has been delayed and will now be available in July 2021.

Who can claim?
To be eligible for the fifth SEISS grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You must have traded in the tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020 and submitted your tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • 2020 to 2021

Plus, you must either:

  • be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

Who can’t claim?
The SEISS grant can’t be claimed by company directors, self-employed people who earned more than £50,000 and those who earned less than half their income from self-employment. It is understood that the risk of fraudulent claims is the main reason why SEISS has not been extended to company directors.

How is the grant calculated?
To work out your eligibility for the fifth grant, HMRC will first look at your self assessment tax return for 2019/20. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.
If you’re not eligible based on your 2019 to 2020 tax return, they will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.

What are the terms and conditions for being eligible for the grant? 
You must declare that:

  • you intend to continue to trade
  • you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus from May 2021 to September 2021

You must also keep evidence showing how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than you might otherwise have expected.
HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits.

What is different about the fifth grant
The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.

Turnover reduction            SEISS grant based on Maximum grant
30% or more     80% of three months’ average trading profits £7,500
less than 30%  30% of three months’ average trading profits £2,850

When can the grant be claimed?
The online claims service for the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021. If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you in mid-July 2021 to give you a date that you can make your claim from.

Since March 2020 when the country went into lockdown, 2.7 million self-employed people have been able to claim support, and by the time the SEISS grant scheme has ends in September it is understood that HNRC will have paid approximately £33 billion to this group, which is expected to number more than 600,000.  

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