Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Updated 29th May 2020
On 26 March 2020, the Chancellor announced an income support scheme for the self-employed which is similar to the coronavirus job retention scheme. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is available to self-employed individuals or a member of a partnership who have submitted an Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 and are still trading (or would be if it wasn’t for COVID-19).
The first grant opened for applications on Wednesday 13 May covering three months: March, April and May. These grants are worth up to 80% of profits, capped at £2,500 per month, or £7,500 in total. You can still apply for this first grant, but you will need to do so by Monday 13 July. The second grant (announced on the 29th May 2020) will cover June, July and August, and will be capped at £2,190 per month, or £6,570 in total.
Applicants will get a taxable grant which will be paid directly into your bank account, in one installment, expected to be by June. Self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of income should come from self-employment.
The main points to note are:
- the grants are worth up to 80% of your profits (capped at £2,500 a month)
- first grant capped at £7,500
- it is a grant, so you do not have to pay it back
- the grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance
- you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment
- Your average trading profit must be less than £50,000/year
- Grants are decided on your profits over the last three years (if possible)
- You must earn more than 50% of your total income from self-employment
- You must have filed a tax return for 2018/19, meaning you were self-employed prior to 6 April 2019
- Your average trading profit must be less than £50,000/year.
HMRC should contact eligible applicants directly and invite them to apply online.
Who the Government says can claim
You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and:
- you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
- you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
- you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
- you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:
- you’re unable to work because you:
- are shielding
- are self-isolating
- are on sick leave because of coronavirus
- have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
- you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:
- your supply chain has been interrupted
- you have fewer or no customers or clients
- your staff are unable to come in to work
Check if you’re eligible to claim
You can use the Government online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim. Your accountant or adviser can also use the online tool on your behalf.
Info you will need:
- Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR number
- National Insurance number – if you do not have this lost National Insurance number
If you’re not eligible
HMRCs uses your Self Assessment tax returns to work out if your eligible. If you have been refused and still feel you are eligible then you should use the online tool to ask HMRC to ‘review’ your eligibility.
What other Government aid is available?
The Government has acknowledged that many self-employed people need help now. Other aid schemes open to self-employed people include:
- Bounce Back Loan Scheme
Small businesses can borrow from £2,000 to £50,000, for up to 6 years. Interest-free and no repayments for the first 12 months.
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Scheme provides finance for small businesses which have had their cash flow disrupted by lost or late income due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Deferred Self-Assessment tax payments
Payments you were due to make by July 2020 can be deferred until the end of January 2021. You don’t need to apply and there’s no fee or interest for deferring.
- HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
For businesses and self-employed in financial distress, and owing money to HMRC. You might be eligible for support, for example a longer time to repay what you owe.
- Universal Credit
The Government have changed the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit to help self-employed people can access this aid in full.
- Coronavirus Business Grant
You might be eligible for a grant if you have a property on which you pay business rates.
- Job Retention Scheme
If you are directors of your own company and you pay yourself through PAYE, you should be able to us the Job Retention Scheme.
Get in touch with us
We’re keen to hear from you – get in touch with us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or chat directly with one of our support agents via WhatsApp.