One of the support measures introduced by Rishi Sunak in response to COVID-19 includes the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which offers self-employed individuals, or a member of a partnership a grant of up to 70% of three months of trading profits. The first grant was made available in June to cover the three months of April to June 2020 and capped at £7500. To be eligible for this second grant, (capped at £6,750).workers need to have been adversely affected by Coronavirus.

To help workers through the claiming process, Huddersfield based Sheards Accountants has outlined the key things you need to know about the extension of the SEISS scheme.

What does it mean to be adversely affected?
This includes being unable to work because the taxpayer is shielding or self-isolating, is on sick leave or perhaps has care responsibilities because of Coronavirus. HMRC also note that it includes;

  • scaling down or temporarily stopping trading because the supply chain has been interrupted;
  • the business has fewer or no customers; or
  • staff are unable to work.

Are you eligible to claim?
The scheme has been extended meaning that previous claimants can make a second and final claim from 17 August, if you can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected after 13 July. If eligible, you can make a claim for the second grant, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant. The grant is subject to income tax and self-employment national insurance contributions.

HMRC has released an eligibility guide for you to find out if you are able to make a claim.

How to claim
Applications will open from 17 August 2020 and close on 19 October 2020. Claims cannot be made by agents but by you, the taxpayer. HMRC will do all the calculations needed for the claims using figures from the submitted tax returns, so you won’t have to provide any numbers.

As tax agents, we are able to use the eligibility checker and we can also request reviews where necessary.

Checks will be taking place to ensure claims are honest and accurate, and penalties may be applied if you do not declare that you have been overpaid or are not eligible for the grant.

What you need to claim
In order to quickly process your claim, when applying you will need your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), your National Insurance number and a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you don’t have a user ID, you can create one during your claim and it is advised to do so through the SEISS.

You will also need your bank details and the address linked to the account.

Once the claim has been checked and approved the grant will be paid into your bank account within six working days. An email confirmation will be sent once payment is on its way. Only contact HMRC if you haven’t received the funding after ten working days.

Your eligibility will not be affected if the business circumstance change after the claim has been submitted. However, it is important that evidence is kept that confirms the business was adversely affected at the time of the application. This includes keeping a record of business accounts showing a reduction in turnover, dates you or your staff were unable to work due to caring responsibilities, shielding or showing COVID19 symptoms or business closure dates.

Any grants received will need to be reported on your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2020-21, as well as self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims or changes to your tax credit claims.

Guidance on evidence can be found here.
If you have any questions on the SEISS scheme, the Sheards team are always on hand to help.