Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

May 4th 2020

This week HMRC will start contacting people to invite them to apply for the SEISS.

The scheme is due to pay out in early June once applications have been processed. The payment will be made in one single instalment covering the three month period from 1 March to 31 May 2020 and is capped at £7,500. It is possible that it could be extended into June.

The scheme will pay 80% of average monthly earnings from self employment. Eligibility is not compromised by continuing to work, beginning a new trade, or taking on other employment.

The eligibility criteria are as follows:
• You carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
• 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 meet the profits condition

The profits condition will be met if you meet any of the following three tests:
1. For tax year 2018-19, your trading profits were:
a) greater than nil, but no more than £50,000, and
b) at least equal to your non-trading income for the year.

2. You traded in each of tax years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 and:
a) your average trading profits for those years were greater than nil, but no more than than £50,000, and
b) the total of those profits was at least equal to your non-trading income for those years.

3. You traded in tax years 2017-18 and 2018-19, but not 2016-17, and
a) your average trading profits for the tax years 2017-18 and 2018-19 were greater than nil, but no more than £50,000, and
b) the total of those profits was at least equal to your non-trading income for those tax years.

HMRC will determine if you are eligible and they will calculate the amount due to you. You will be able to check HMRC’s determination of your eligibility by using their online tool.

The tool will tell you the earliest date from which you can make the claim. To check your eligibility with this tool you will need your UTR (unique taxpayer reference number) and National Insurance number to hand. You can ask HMRC to review the position if they have deemed you ineligible. You can also ask them to review the amount of the claim if you disagree.

You must set up a Government Gateway account in order to provide HMRC with your contact details and to make the claim application. The online service is not yet available on the Government Gateway portal at present but will be live within the next week.

As your agent, we are not able to make this claim on your behalf therefore it is vital that you set up this account. We will assist in every way we can by phone or remotely, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are having any trouble with accessing this scheme.

At the point of claim you will need to have the following information to hand:
• Unique Taxpayer Reference number (a 10 digit number you will find at the top of your annual tax calculations)
• National Insurance Number
• Government Gateway ID
• Government Gateway Password
• Your Bank Account Details

Issues which have recently been clarified:
– If you are in receipt of maternity allowance you will still be eligible for the scheme.
– If you have made use of farmers or creative averaging in the last 3 years the profit used to determine your eligibility for the scheme and the amount paid will be the profit before averaging.
– Carried forward losses utilised in any of the past three years will not be taken into account when calculating your average earnings.

Also see earlier article ‘Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme’