Fourth Self Employed Income Support Scheme grant now open

Senga Prior

Senga Prior

Tax Senior Manager

The fourth Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant for self-employed individuals affected by coronavirus restrictions is now open for applications, closing on 1 June 2021.

This grant covers the period from 1 February to 30 April 2021, and will now include 2019/20 tax returns. 2019/20 profits must be less than £50,000 and at least equal to or more than non-trading income. If this test fails, then HMRC will look at the average of 2016/17 to 2019/20.

The award will be based on 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500 in total. As with previous SEISS grants, the claim must be made by the individual – advisers are unable to make a claim on their behalf. The claim can be made here.

To be eligible for the grant, applicants must meet all four of the following conditions:

  • have traded in 2019/20 and submitted tax return by 2 March 2021 and must have traded in 2020/21;
  • be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus OR have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus:
  • intend to continue to trade;
  • reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus. Evidence should be kept.

Examples of evidence for being unable to trade include:

  • a record of dates closed due to Government restrictions
  • NHS Test and Trace communications - if instructed to self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and unable to work from home
  • a letter or email from the NHS asking you to shield
  • test results if you’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus
  • letters or emails from your child’s school with information on closures or reduced hours

Further examples demonstrating situations which may or may not be eligible can be found on the Government's website here.

Pre-verification checks

HMRC is asking some individuals who wish to claim the fourth and fifth SEISS grants and started self-employment in 2019/20 to complete pre-verification checks. The purpose of these is to confirm their identity and provide evidence of trade. Taxpayers will have received a letter between 8 March and mid-April 2021, advising that they will receive a phone call from HMRC within 10 working days.

If you are required to complete the check, on the call HMRC will ask you to confirm your email address and agree to receive a link to a secure Dropbox. You will then have two days to upload one form of identity and three months’ worth of bank statements to demonstrate your business activity, before the link expires.

HMRC has advised it will attempt to phone three times, so taxpayers who receive the letter should ensure that HMRC holds the correct telephone number for them. If the number needs to be updated, you should contact 0800 024 1222.

If HMRC is unsuccessful in reaching the taxpayer, a further letter will be sent out. If you receive the letter but do not complete the checks then you will not be able to claim a grant.

Get in touch

If you have any questions on the SEISS grant, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or your usual Johnston Carmichael adviser. The Government's SEISS helpline can also be accessed on 0800 024 1222.

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