The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) provided help the self-employed whose businesses were adversely affected by Coronavirus. The second payment under the scheme, which was payable from mid-August, was due to be the final payment under the scheme.
However, as cases continue to rise and many businesses continue to be adversely affected by the virus, the scheme has been extended. The extension will run for six months from 1 November and will provide for two further grant payments, albeit at a much lower level than previously.
To claim a grant under the extended SEISS, self-employed individuals (including individual members of partnerships) must:
- be currently eligible for the SEISS scheme (although it is not necessary to have claimed either the first or the second grant);
- declare that they are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade; and
- declare that they are impacted by reduced demand due to Coronavirus in the qualifying period, which is between 1 November and the date of the claim).
- To recap, to be currently eligible under the SEISS, the trade must:
- have submitted their self-assessment tax return for 2018/19 by 23 April 2020;
- traded in 2019/20;
- be continuing to trade when they claim the grant, or would be except for the Coronavirus pandemic; and
- intend to continue to trade in 2020/21.
The grant is limited to traders whose trading profits are not more than £50,000 either for 2018/19 or on average for the three years 2016/17 to 2018/19 inclusive. Profits from self-employment must also comprise at least 50% of the individual’s income.
Amount of the grant
The government have increased the support to the self-employed from 40% of trading profits to 80% for November - January 2021. SEISS is calculated over 3 months so this increases the total grant from 40% to 80% of trading profits for November to January and the max grant increases to £7,500. The level of the second grant has yet to be set. Grant payments are taxable and liable for National Insurance.
Grants will also be paid faster than previously planned with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December.
The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.