Fifth SEISS grant – how it will work

Details are emerging about the government’s fifth Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.

If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will be contacting you this month to give you a date that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, text message, letter or within the online service.

The online service to claim the fifth grant will be available from late July. You’ll need to confirm that you meet other eligibility criteria when you make your claim.

And you must make your claim on or before September 30, 2021.

The fifth SEISS grant is the last in a series of government payments worth up to £7,500 made available to support eligible self-employed individuals through the pandemic.

Those who were eligible for the fourth grant should be eligible for the fifth payment. To be eligible, you need to be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

You can claim the fifth grant if you think that your business profit will be impacted by coronavirus between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.

Who can claim

You must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

You must also have traded in both tax years: 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021

You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

You must have:

• submitted your 2019 to 2020 tax return on or before 2 March 2021
• trading profits of no more than £50,000
• trading profits at least equal to your non-trading income
• Non-trading income is any money that you make outside of your business. For example, if you also have a part-time job or pension.

If you’re not eligible based on the trading profits in your 2019 to 2020 return, HMRC will look back at previous years.

When you make your claim, you must tell HMRC that you intend to keep trading in 2021 to 2022 and reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of Covid-19 between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021

The fifth grant is different from previous grants. In most cases, when making your claim you will need to tell HMRC about your business turnover so it can work out your grant amount.

Turnover includes the takings, fees, sales or money earned or received by your business.

To make your claim, you’ll need to have two different turnover figures. You’ll need to work out your turnover for:

• April 2020 to April 2021
• either 2019 to 2020 or 2018 to 2019

HMRC will compare these figures to work out how much you’ll get.

You will not be asked for any turnover figures if you started trading in 2019 to 2020 and did not trade in the following tax years:

• 2018 to 2019
• 2017 to 2018
• 2016 to 2017

There are two levels of grant. HMRC will work out your grant amount based on how much your turnover is down by after comparing your two turnover figures.

The grant is taxable and is worth either 30 per cent or 80 per cent of your average trading profits for three months.

The government has issued guidance to help business work out their turnover when making a claim:

Around 600,000 more people are eligible to apply for both the fourth and fifth grants, after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing changes to the scheme which meant newly self-employed people were able to claim.