If you think that you may be eligible for the fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, it’s now time to apply. If HMRC thinks that you may be eligible then they should already have written to you with your personal claim date. However, if you haven’t had any correspondence then you can check the eligibility criteria here.
If you do wish to make a claim you must do this on or before the 30th of September 2021.
Important Information About The Fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
You Must Make The Claim Yourself
You cannot ask an accountant or tax agent to make the claim on your behalf. This could lead to delays in your payment. However, you can ask a friend, family member, accountant or tax agent to help you.
During the claim process, you’ll be asked for a turnover figure for the 12-month period between April 2020 and March 2021. You must calculate this in advance so that you have the figure to hand when you make your claim. You will also need to provide a 12-month turnover figure for the tax years 2019 – 2020 or 2018 – 2019.
If you claim for the fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme it is really important that you keep appropriate records as evidence of the impact on your business. This is because HMRC may need to check them.
You must keep any evidence that your business has had reduced activity, capacity or demand due to COVID-19 at the time you made your claim, such as:
- business accounts showing the reduction in activity compared to previous years
- records of reduced or cancelled contracts or appointments
- a record of dates where you had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions
Calculations & Eligibility
There have been changes to how HMRC calculate the fifth SEISS grant.
The amount that you receive will be determined by a ‘turnover test’. This test considers how much your turnover has decreased in the 2020 – 2021 tax year due to the pandemic.
To calculate how much your turnover has decreased, you will need your turnover figures for the 2020 – 2021 tax year, and either 2018 – 2019 or 2019 – 2020 tax years. (Depending on your circumstances.) You can find your turnover figure in the turnover box on your tax return.
Calculate Your Turnover
In order to calculate the decrease, you should use your turnover figures for 2019 – 2020 (if it was representative of a normal pre-COVID-19 year for your business) as a comparison to your 2020 – 2021 turnover.
If your 2019 – 2020 figures are not a true representation of your normal pre-COVID-19 turnover you can use your figures from 2018 to 2019 for comparison.
To avoid delays and make sure you’re ready to claim, you can start calculating your turnover for 2020 to 2021 now. This doesn’t mean that you have to submit your 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment return beforehand to be eligible. (This is only due by 31 January 2022.) However, you may need to calculate this figure to compare your turnover.
If your accountant or tax agent normally files your returns for you, they may be able to help you calculate your turnover.
However, it is really important that you make the claim yourself.
For advice on how to calculate your reduction in turnover, you can follow the guidance on GOV.UK here.
The Amount Of Grant Based On Turnover
Your turnover will affect the grant amount you are eligible for?
- If your turnover was down by 30% or more in 2020 – 2021, you will receive a grant worth 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits (capped at £7,500).
- If your turnover was down by less than 30%, you will receive a grant worth 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits (capped at £2,850).
If your turnover increased, but you are expecting a reduction in turnover you may still qualify for the 30% grant.
In order to qualify you must reasonably believe that, due to reduced demand or inability to trade between the 1st of May and the 30th of September 2021, you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits.
To claim for the fifth SEISS grant you must check if you meet the criteria in stages 1,2 & 3 as follows:
Stage 1: Your trading status and when you must have traded
You must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.
You must also have traded in both tax years:
- 2019 to 2020
- 2020 to 2021
You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.
Stage 2: Tax returns and trading profits
You must have:
- submitted your 2019 to 2020 tax return on or before 2 March 2021
- trading profits of no more than £50,000
- trading profits at least equal to your non-trading income
Non-trading income is any money that you make outside of your business. For example, if you also have a part-time job or pension.
If you’re not eligible based on the trading profits in your 2019 – 2020 return, HMRC will look back at previous years.
Stage 3: Deciding if you can claim
When you make your claim you must tell HMRC that you:
- intend to keep trading in 2021 to 2022
- reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of COVID-19 between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021
For full details of how to check if you’re eligible, you can check GOV.UK here.
Making A Claim
Claiming online is the quickest and easiest way to get your grant and you can make a claim until the 30th of September 2021.
To make your claim, you will need your:
- Turnover figure for April 2020 – March 2021 and 2019 – 2020 and/or 2018 – 2019
- National Insurance number – if you do not know this, go to the HMRC app, your online Personal Tax Account (PTA) or ask your tax agent (if you have one)
- Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number – you can find this on your Self Assessment papers, in your PTA or by asking your tax agent
- Government Gateway user ID and password – If you do not have an account, or have forgotten your details, follow the instructions on GOV.UK by searching HMRC services: sign in or register. Please also check your contact details are correct in your Government Gateway account
- Bank account number and sort code – for a building society account, please include the roll number if you have one.
HMRC will also ask for the address that your bank or building society account is registered to. This is your address – most likely your home or business premises – not the address of your bank or building society.
Claiming For The First Time
If this is the first time you have claimed a SEISS grant, you may be asked additional questions to prove your identity.
In order to answer these questions, it will be helpful to have the following items to hand when making your claim:
- your UK passport
- information held on your credit file (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
- your Self Assessment tax return (within the last 3 years)
- your tax credit claim
- your P60
- one of your 3 most recent payslips.
Receiving The Grant
Once you have completed your claim, HMRC will undertake checks to confirm the details you’ve given. If your claim is accepted, the money will be paid directly into your bank account within 6 working days of HMRC receiving your claim.
We Can Help
We are here if you have any questions regarding making a claim for the fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.