SELF-EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME (SEISS)

New guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme published 14 April 2020 from HM Treasury.

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. It will be available for 3 months, but may be extended.

The grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions but does not need to be repaid.

You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant, but any grant received will be treated as part of your self-employment income and may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. Any Universal Credit claims for earlier periods will not be affected.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

To be eligible an individual must:

  • have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • have traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • be trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. HMRC will as usual use a risk based approach to compliance.

Your trading profits must also be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income for either:

  • the tax year 2018 to 2019 or
  • the average of the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019

HMRC will use data on the 2018 to 2019 tax returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will review any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

If you amend a submitted return after 26 March 2020 any changes will not be taken into account when working out your eligibility or amount of the grant.

Notes:

  • The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC will aim to contact you by mid May 2020, and will make payments by early June 2020.
  • HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant
  • If an individual started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which that individual filed a Self-Assessment tax return.
  • If an individual has not submitted their Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, they must do this by 23 April 2020 to use the scheme.
  • This scheme also applies to members of partnerships
  • Before grant payments are made, the self-employed will still be able to access other available government support for those affected by coronavirus including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans where they have a business bank account

[Updated 18:46 on Wednesday 14 April 2020]