Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The first stage of this scheme covered the period until 13 July 2020. Under this stage of the scheme, the government provided a grant equal to 80% of average profits to the self-employed, capped at a maximum of £2,500 per month. The deadline for making claims under this stage of the scheme has passed.
The second stage of the scheme commenced on 14 July 2020 and claims can be made from 17 August 2020. Under this stage of the scheme, the grant is equal to 70% of average profits , capped at a maximum of £2,190 per month. The lump sum payment for this period is due to be made towards the end of August 2020.
Eligibility for the payments includes the following conditions:
- The tax payer needs to have submitted a self-assessment tax return for 2018/2019.
- Self-employed profits needs to be less than £50,000 and to represent at least 50% of the total income for the tax payer.
- The taxpayer needs to have traded as self-employed in tax year 2018/19 and to still be trading, subject to the impact of the coronavirus.
- The self-employed business needs to have suffered a financial loss due to the impact of the coronavirus.
The £50,000 and 50% of total income tests require 2 separate checks:
- Income shown on the tax return for 2018/19 on its own.
- Average income shown in the last 3 years self-assessment tax returns.
The information required to make a claim is as follows:
- Tax reference (UTR).
- NI number.
- Government gateway user ID and password (If the taxpayer does not have a Government Gateway, the portal provides a link to obtain one).
- Bank account sort code and account number
Claims will be made through the an online portal on the gov.uk website. Once a claim has been successfully made on the online portal, payment should be received within 6 working days.
Payments will be made direct into the taxpayer’s bank account by HMRC.
The amount paid by HMRC is taxable income, so it will need to be included on future self-assessment tax returns.
Agents are unable to make claims on behalf of taxpayers, so the taxpayers need to ensure that they have a government gateway account in order to make the claim.
Taxpayers need to be vigilant as there may well be scams in which taxpayers are asked to forward their bank details to the scammers.
Further details of this scheme can be found on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales website – https://www.icaew.com/coronavirus/self-employment-income-support-scheme