Self Employment Grant Now Open. 

Apply for the second Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – the Government grant to self-employed individuals whose businesses have been adversely affected by coronavirus – is made up of two grants.

The first grant closed on 13 July 2020, but the second and final grant opened for applications on 17 August 2020.

 

Here’s what you need to know about the second grant:

  • It’s now open for applications and the last date to apply is 19 October 2020.

  • It’s worth up to 70% of your average monthly trading profits over the tax years ending in 2017, 2018 and 2019 (more on that below). It’s paid in a single instalment of up to £6,570 (£2,190/mth), and it’s designed to cover three months worth of profits. As it’s a grant, you don’t need to pay it back.
  • Grants are based on your profits over three tax years. This is based on an average of the tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19. If you did not trade in 2016/17, it’s based on the average of 2017/18 and 2018/19. If you did not trade in 2017/18, the amount is based on 2018/19 only – even if you traded in 2016/17.
  • You don’t need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant. And if you’ve claimed the first, you can claim the second as long as you’re still eligible.

  • You need to have been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020 to claim it. Unsure what ‘adversely affected’ means? We’ve detailed examples and help. The 14 July 2020 date is “bizarre”, adding confusion to many people who were affected throughout June. We offer some helpful guidance on what this rule means below.
  • You must have filed a tax return for 2018/19. This means you must have been self-employed prior to 6 April 2019. The last possible moment to file a 2018/19 tax return was 23 April 2020 (the deadline had been extended from 31 January 2020). If you only had a few months’ self-employment on your 2018/19 return, this is counted as your total profit for the year – the Government won’t pro-rata it based on your monthly profits.
  • You must earn more than 50% of your total income from self-employment. To check this, HMRC will first look at your your 2018/19 tax return to see if it was the case then. If you’re not eligible based on 2018/19 alone, it will then look at the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 to see if the average of your trading profits across the three years were more than 50% of your total income.

    Income from property, dividends, savings, pensions and taxable benefits all count as “non-trading income” and, to qualify for the SEISS, the total of these combined must NOT exceed 50% of your total income. Confused about what counts as “taxable income”? Here’s our full list.

  • Your average trading profit must be less than £50,000/year. This is essentially a ‘cliff-edge’ requirement – so those whose average annual trading profit is more than £50,000 (to be specific, £50,000.01 and above) won’t be able to get any support from this scheme.

    Again, HMRC says it will first check your 2018/19 tax return – if you met the requirements that year, you’ll be eligible. However, if you earned more than £50,000 (or earned less than half of your income from self-employment) in 2018/19, it’ll check your 2016/17 and 2017/18 tax returns if you filed them for those years. If on average over the three years you earned less than £50,000 and made more than half your income from self-employment, you’ll be eligible. See more info below if you made a loss.

  • You CAN keep working if you claim the grant. You do not need to prove coronavirus impact, though you need to declare your business has been impacted on or after 14 July 2020. HMRC will check for fraudulent claims.
  • You can also apply for and get universal credit (SEISS doesn’t make you ineligible). But once you start receiving self-employed income support too then this will be classed as income, meaning the amount of universal credit you receive will decrease. But you will NOT have to pay back previous months of universal credit because of your SEISS payment. If you can wait, in some cases it could be worth delaying your SEISS application to maximise your universal credit award. We have all the details in our Coronavirus Universal Credit & Benefits guide.

How to apply for the second SEISS grant

You need to apply via the official Government claims portal. Not sure you’re eligible? The application will tell you if not.

To apply, or check, you need the following information:

  • Self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR) – if you do not have this, find out how to get your lost UTR
  • National insurance (NI) number – if you do not have this, find out how to get your lost NI number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including the: bank account number, sort code, name on the account, address linked to your bank account. IMPORTANT: You must make the claim yourself. Your tax agent or financial adviser must not claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert.

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