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What is the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)?

Good news at last! If you’re self-employed, you can now apply for a grant from the UK government. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), including how to submit your application and how to find out if you’re actually eligible for the grant.

What is SEISS?

SEISS is a grant that allows self-employed individuals to claim 80% of their average monthly trading profits. The grant will be taxable (with Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance) and will be paid to your bank account in one instalment. The payment should cover you for 3 months, and the maximum you can claim is capped at £7,500.

How to apply:

Step 1 – Check you’re eligible

First things first, you need to check your eligibility for the scheme. To do this, you need your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and National Insurance number.

The HMRC website says that you’re eligible for the scheme if you’re either:

  • self-employed individual, or;
  • member of a partnership and all of the following apply:
    • you traded in the tax year 2018-19 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return before 23 April 2020
    • you traded in the tax year 2019-20
    • you intend to continue trading in the tax year 2020-21
    • your trade has been significantly affected by COVID-19

If you’re a limited company or operating a trade through a trust, you unfortunately can’t claim for a grant through SEISS.

Step 2 – get your docs together

Now you’ve confirmed you’re eligible to apply, here’s what you’ll ended to have to hand for the application:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • UK bank details

Step 3 – Make your claim!

Now you’re ready to make a claim! To successfully apply for the SEISS, you need to make the claim yourself, meaning that accountants – like us here at Mazuma – and advisers aren’t able to submit for you.

And remember – you might have to show HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. This means providing evidence such as:

  • Accounts showing a reduction in turnover
  • Dates your business had to close due to lockdown
  • Dates you or your staff were unable to work due to coronavirus
  • Details of any coronavirus-related business loans you have in place

What happens after you’ve claimed?

Once you’ve submitted your claim, HMRC will check the application and – providing everything is tickety-boo – they’ll pay your grant in the next 6 working days. You should get an email from them when payment is on the way, so keep an eye on your inbox!

How much will you get?

HMRC uses the information submitted on your Self Assessment tax returns to calculate how much you should get. This will be based on your average trading profit over 3 tax years, adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years and dividing that by 3.

The grant will be 80% of your average monthly trading profits. The online service will give you a detailed breakdown of how the final amount was calculated so you can see for yourself how they arrived at the final amount.

What if the amount is wrong?

If you think HMRC has incorrectly calculated the amount, you should check this with a reliable accountant – like Mazuma! If you’ve reviewed the amount and you’re still certain it’s wrong, you can ask HMRC to review your grant amount.

What to do when you’ve received the money

The money is finally in your account – hooray! Now, you must keep a copy of all records relating to the grant. More information on the exact records can be found here: self-employment record keeping requirements.

Can I keep working if I get the SEISS grant?

Yes! If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment if you want to.

How does HMRC define being adversely affected by COVID-19?

HMRC states that your business has been significantly impacted by coronavirus if you are unable to work due to:

  • Shielding
  • Self-isolation
  • Sick leave because of coronavirus
  • Caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • Scaling down or temporarily stopping trade because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer/no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to work

Need advice?

We know, it’s a lot to take in. Although we can’t submit the application for you, we can help you prepare your application and be on hand to answer any questions you have throughout the process. Not to mention, we also provide a low-cost monthly accountancy service which you can sign up for – give yourself a break from the stress of accounts and let us take a weight off your shoulders! Get in touch with our team today for a free quote – we’d love to hear from you.

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