On 3rd March 2021, most self-employed people in the UK were delighted after the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was extended to September 2021.
The UK government had initially introduced the SEISS in May 2020 to cushion the self-employed individuals whose profits had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Since its inception, the SEISS grant is expected to offer its 4th and 5th grants in April and May, respectively.
HMRC estimates that close to 300,000 taxpayers who started trading in 2019/20 can now qualify for the fourth and fifth grants. More than 300,000 self-employed individuals who were ineligible in the initial grants may also be eligible for the same.
The fourth round of claims is expected to open in late April, and it will cover up to 80% of the trader's monthly profit for three months and will be worth £7,500, which should be paid in one instalment.
In this grant, the HMRC will consider 2019/2020 tax returns which were filed by 2nd March, 2021 midnight. The other requirements, however, will remain constant like in the previous grants.
HMRC will get in touch with eligible taxpayers, and applications will be open to end on May 2021.
It will take some time for HMRC to check your 2019/20 UK Tax Return data and pre-verify before applications are open.
The fifth SEISS grant application will start in late July and will cover May to September 2021. In this case, the amount received will solely depend on how much your business lost between April 2020 and April 2021.
If your turnover has dropped by 30% or more, you will get a grant worth 80% of the three months net profits, which is capped at £7,500.
On the other hand, turnovers that have dropped by less than 30% will still get a grant worth 30% capped at £2,850.
The grants are calculated on three months business profit despite it covering five months. HMRC claims to use this approach with an intention to support traders as the economy begins to open up slowly.
It is also important to note that the 4th and 5th grants have broader eligibility as it covers newly self-employed people, taking into account the 2019-2020 tax returns.
This scheme was set up to offer financial relief to self-employed individuals and partnerships adversely affected by the covid-19 pandemic. To claim the SEISS grant, you need to complete the Self-Assessment tax return trading pages.
HMRC will do all calculations required for your claims in reference to the information you submitted during your tax returns. You, therefore, don't have to give them any figures.
To qualify for the fourth round, you should prove you have reduced demand or completely unable to trade due to coronavirus.
Other SEISS qualification requirements include:
If you're still ineligible for the SEISS grant on your tax return, you can still access tax reliefs, government loans, and other cash grants.
Like mentioned before, an eligible trader for the grant needs to be doing a business that has been adversely affected by coronavirus.
HMRC states that an adversely affected business by Covid-19 could include the following:
You can only claim a grant if your trade has been adversely affected at the time of claim and not based on the effects you believe may happen someday. HMRC will usually confirm this when claiming.
The earliest you can apply for the fourth-round grant is in late April 2021. If you're eligible for a grant, HMRC will contact you in around mid-April for your personal claim date.
When making an application, you need the following information:
Once you make your SEISS claim and it gets approved, the money should be in your account within six working days.
After you receive your SEISS Grant on Your Tax Return, you can continue trading in your existing business, get employment or start a new trade.
Any amount you receive from the SEISS grant is usually subject to income tax and National Insurance.
You, however, don't have to repay the money as it is a grant and not a loan. You are required to report the funding received on your self-assessment tax return.
The first, second, and third rounds of the grant are taxable in 2020/21 and don't appoint back to tax year 2019/20.
At the Budget announcement on 3rd March, all grants will be taxed in the year received.
An online tax advice services in Manchester or a tax agent can help you check whether you're eligible for the scheme.
However, your agent cannot make the actual claim. You, as the taxpayer gas, to claim it personally. Your agent will help you in doing so and also request the HMRC to review eligibility on your behalf.
If you're in business and adversely affected by the coronavirus, don't hesitate to apply for a SEISS Grant on Your Tax Return! It will help you a long way in cushioning the losses accrued.