Self Employment support

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS): an update

HMRC has started to contact people who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to explain the process and help them get ready to make a claim.

The claims service will open on Wednesday May 13, with payments reaching bank accounts by May 25, or six working days after the claim is made.

HMRC says the scheme will benefit self-employed individuals or those in a partnership whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, covering most people who get at least half of their income from self-employment.  

SEISS is a temporary scheme that will enable those eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 -equivalent to three months’ profits – in a single instalment.

HMRC is using information provided in 2018-19 tax returns – and returns for 2016-17 and 2017-18 where needed – to determine eligibility and is contacting those who may be eligible via email, SMS or letter.

It has also opened an online tool which will let people check their eligibility for themselves, as well as giving them a date on which they can apply.

To check if you are eligible visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

WNJ can’t process claims on behalf of our clients, they must calculate their claims themselves, but we can provide assistance if needed.

To check if you are eligible you will need your:
• Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
• National Insurance number

If eligible, you will need to register with HMRC and set up a Government Gateway Account ID and password (you are prompted to do both these after confirmation of eligibility).

Once registered, HMRC will confirm a both a date and time that clients can claim from.

People are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in 2019-20, intend to continue trading and they:   

• Earn at least half of their income through self-employment;
• Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
• Traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year.    

HMRC says it expects its phone lines to be very busy over the next few weeks as people enter this new scheme, so it is encouraging customers to only call if they can’t find what they need on GOV.UK, from their tax agent or via its webchat service.

If you are told you that you’re not eligible to make a claim, you can ask HMRC to review this after you’ve used the online tool. If you want to do this at a later time, you’ll be able to use the online tool more than once.