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Self-employed support measures: SEISS grant eligibility and how to apply

26th May, 2020

Self-employed individuals whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can now apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits. Here, Nottingham chartered accountants Clayton & Brewill takes a closer look at who is eligible for the scheme, what support it provides, and how to make a claim.

Who’s eligible for the SEISS?

Broadly speaking, you are eligible for the SEISS grant if your business has suffered because of the coronavirus pandemic. Other requirements include:

  • Earning at least half of your income through self-employment
  • Having trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year (based on an average of the last three years)
  • Your profits must be at least equal to any non-trading income, such as employment income, dividends or rental income
  • You must have traded in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 tax years, and intend to continue trading in the 2020/21 tax year
  • All relevant income tax self-assessment returns must have been filed.

You should not claim the grant if you’re a limited company or operating a trade through a trust.

Directors of personal service companies are also not eligible. But, if you are paid under PAYE, government help may be available via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Find out how we can help you make a claim on the CJRS portal here.

What support does the SEISS provide?

The scheme provides a direct cash grant – of up to 80% of profits – for self-employed individuals. This will be calculated based on your average profits over the past three years, from 2016 to 2019. The maximum payment will be £2,500 a month, paid in a single instalment covering three months. Payment should be made directly into your bank account within six working days of you completing a claim.

Making a claim

If you are eligible for the SEISS grant, HMRC should have contacted you by email, text or letter. You can use the government’s new online ‘eligibility checker’ to confirm if you are eligibile and also see the date from which you can make a claim. Even if you haven’t been contacted by HMRC, you can still use this tool to check eligibility.

You will then need to log in to, or create, your government gateway account to complete the application process. Here, you’ll be asked to complete a declaration to confirm that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, and to supply the bank account details into which you would like the grant to be paid. You will then be shown the grant HMRC believes you are entitled to, plus the calculation they’ve used to work this sum out. You can discuss this with Clayton & Brewill, and we can check any figures, or provide clarification where necessary.

It’s important to note that you must submit a claim yourself. Your tax adviser or accountant cannot make a claim on your behalf. We can, however, support you by helping you get ready to claim, using the eligibility checker on your behalf or by supporting you to use it yourself; so please do get in touch with the Clayton and Brewill team if you have any concerns. We can also help you through the rest of the process and suggest other forms of support you may be eligible for in addition to, or instead of, SEISS.

Note: The deadline for claiming under the first round is 13 July 2020.  HMRC’s claims portal for the second grant opens in August 2020.  

Other help available

Self-employed workers can also apply for Universal Credit, which has been temporarily increased to match the levels of statutory sick pay (£94.25 a week). However, there is typically a five week wait to receive a payment for those applying for the first time.

Other available support measures for business owners include the Bounce Back Loan Scheme or the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Get in touch

Clayton & Brewill has helped hundreds of businesses over the past few months to make the most of government support measures available during this difficult period we’re facing. Whether you need more hands-on advice and help with your accounts, or assistance with submitting a claim, you will find the Clayton & Brewill team to be responsive, efficient, friendly and firmly on your side.

Though we cannot make a claim on your behalf, Clayton & Brewill can support you with any queries you have in assessing your eligibility for an SEISS claim and any other questions you may have about the scheme. Please contact Doug Perry by email or on 0115 950 3044.


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