Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Those eligible for the SEISS can receive a taxable grant of up to 80% of their average monthly profits from the previous three years, with a cap of £2,500.
HMRC are using information based on tax returns submitted for the years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 to identify self-employed individuals or partners in a partnership who they think may be eligible to claim the SEISS.
The claims process opens on Wednesday 13 May 2020 and to assist you with this, we have included lots of information below to help you through the different stages:
- How to prepare
- If you are eligible for the SEISS grant
- If you are not eligible for the SEISS grant
- What do you need to do to make a claim
- How to make a claim
- How much will you receive under the SEISS?
- What happens after you've made a claim?
There are certain steps to do first to check that you have all the information you need before starting to make your claim.
GOV.UK has an online checker which you can use to confirm your eligibility (but please bear in mind that this checker does not include all the eligibility criteria so it is your responsibility to check that you meet this - for more information see further below).
Before you start, you will need:
- Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) - you can usually find this on correspondence received from HMRC, on your tax return or when you log into your Personal Tax Account
- Your National Insurance Number (NINO) - this may be on correspondence received from HMRC, on your tax return and other documents such as your payslips (if you have been employed previously) or on your Personal Tax Account
You will be invited to make the claim after the date and time you are told about on the online checker. You will be asked for your contact details so HMRC can get in touch with you about your claim through the Government Gateway system (see below for further information).
As previously mentioned, in some cases the online checker may show you as being eligible to claim, but you actually do not meet the full criteria. This is because HMRC has identified that you are eligible to claim based on your tax returns from 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, but subsequently there have been changes to your business circumstances which means that you actually do not now meet the criteria and therefore do not qualify for SEISS. This could include:
- You began trading through a limited company after the 2018/19 tax year and so are no longer trading as a sole-trader or partner of a partnership. This means that you are now classed as an employee and are therefore not self-employed in 2019/20. (Although if you are not working, you may be able to be "furloughed" even as a director - please contact us for guidance if you are unsure if this applies to you).
- You stopped trading on a self-employed basis or as a member of a partnership after the end of the 2018/19 tax year.
- Your trading income has not been adversely affected because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. To clarify, you can continue to work whilst claiming, but you must have been adversely affected to be eligible. This includes: not being able to work because you have caring responsibilities, you are self-isolating or your trade has reduced - for example because you are unable to open your premises, see customers, obtain stock etc.
If HMRC has contacted you to say you are eligible for the SEISS grant but you do not meet the full criteria, then you should not make a claim.
If the online checker states that you are not eligible but you consider that you are, then you can ask HMRC to review your eligibility and you will have the opportunity to do this after you have completed the online checker process.
As explained above, HMRC will contact you if they think you will be eligible for the grant and will invite you to make a claim on GOV.UK via the Government Gateway system. This will be the most efficient way to get the grant payment and so it is best to use the online system to make the claim unless you are unable to do so.
If you are not currently registered for the Government Gateway, then you will need to do this after completing the online eligibility checker.
If you do already have a Government Gateway but have lost or forgotten the details, then you can recover your sign in details after completing the online eligibility checker.
The SEISS online claim system will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is designed to be an easy to use, self-service system with guidance in place to help you navigate it.
If you are unable to claim online, then an alternative way of claiming will be available shortly; details for which will be added to GOV.UK once the method has been finalised.
You will be unable to make a claim before the date and time given to you by the online checker. The claims system will open from 13 May 2020.
When you can make a claim, you should log on to the Government Gateway system where it will confirm your eligibility.
The SEISS grant is taxable and subject to Class 4 National Insurance so will need to be included in your Self Assessment tax return(s). Depending on which accounting basis you use and your accounting year-end, the grant may need to be apportioned between your 2019/20 and 2020/21 tax returns.
It is important that you keep records of why you have been eligible to claim the SEISS grant – so make a note of why your trade has declined during the coronavirus outbreak as HMRC will check your grant claim later (after you have received it).
You will also need to provide details for the bank account where you would like the grant to be paid into. You do not need to request that the grant is paid into your business bank account (if you have one), it can be paid into your personal account just remember that it is business income and needs to be included on your tax return in due course.
HMRC calculates the amount of the grant which you can claim. The SEISS provides support for three months from 1 March 2020 to 31 May2020 and there are examples of how it is calculated on GOV.UK. If you would like us to confirm what we believe you are entitled to, please get in touch and we can provide a brief summary upon request.
When you make a claim for the SEISS, HMRC will provide you with a calculation of the grant and what information they have used. Remember to print off or take a screen-shot of this page as this will help you check the figures.
Please also ensure that we receive a copy of this, as we will need to include the income in your next accounts/tax return.
HMRC will confirm immediately if you claim has been accepted. It is advisable to print or screen-shot any screen with a scheme reference and confirmation of your submitted claim.
Claims should be paid within 6 working days.
For further information or support, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0121 693 5000 (Solihull Office) or 01527 833124 (Bromsgrove Office).