SEISS grant – an update

The government announced the fourth extension of its Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) in November last year.

However, it has still to release details of when this latest grant, which aims to support self-employed people who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, will be paid.

It has also yet to be confirmed how much will be paid to those who are eligible for the money.

At the moment the government’s website states: “We will set out further details, including the level of the fourth grant in due course.”

The grant is set to help self-employed people who have been affected by a “significant reduction in profits”, from February 1 until April 30.

Although applications are not yet open, you can find out if you will be eligible by viewing the criteria on the government’s website.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme#who-can-claim)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce further details of this fourth grant when he delivers his Budget on March 3.

There is also speculation that he may also reveal a fifth grant as part of his overall package of further support measures for the economy, as the ongoing pandemic continues to impact on businesses in all sectors.

The third grant covers a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 29 January 2021.

It is worth 80 per cent of average monthly trading profits paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. Applications for this grant closed on January 29 this year.

To be eligible for this grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, had to be:

• previously eligible for the SEISS first and second grant – although they did not have to have claimed them
• declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
• currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
• previously trading but temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

These grants are being paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions. The scheme has already paid out nearly £20bn.

When it comes to SEISS, you must make the claim yourself. You must not ask a tax agent or adviser to claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, which will delay your payment.

HMRC says it will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate.