Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
What is it?
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.
This scheme has now been extended, with a further and final payment available in August at a 70% rate, capped at £2,187.50 per month.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:
- Be self-employed or a member of partnership;
- Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
- File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
- Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
- Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
- Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
- Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and:
- you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
- you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
- you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
- you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:
- you’re unable to work because you:
- are shielding
- are self-isolating
- are on sick leave because of coronavirus
- have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
- you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:
- your supply chain has been interrupted
- you have fewer or no customers or clients
- your staff are unable to come in to work
How do I access it?
Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by beginning of June 2020. For eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have 4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.
HMRC are publishing guidance on the scheme, available here. This guidance will continue to be updated.
When can I access it?
HMRC have started contacting the self employed with details of how to check eligibility, with the first claims being processed on 13th May 2020 and payments being made 6 working days from your claim.
To complete this eligibility check, you’ll need to have your:
- Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number – you can find this on your self assessment papers or speak to your Ward Goodman CSM.
- National Insurance number – if you don’t know this, go to the HMRC app, your online tax account or speak to your Ward Goodman CSM.
You will then be required to log into your Government Gateway account. If you do not have a Government Gateway account, you will be able to click the link to create one at this point.
Once logged into your existing or new Government Gateway account you will need to provide
- Email address for HMRC to contact you
- Mobile Number (optional)
You will then get a confirmation screen with an expected date and time that you will be able to process your claim (this is currently Wednesday 13th May 2020)
Government Gateway Access
Are you unsure if you’ve setup a Government Gateway account before, or perhaps just can’t remember the login details. Click the button below and work your way through the online steps to try and recover the information without needing to phone HMRC.