Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Update 5 November 2020
In September, the government announced an extension of the SEISS for a third and fourth tranche of the SEISS grant to cover the six month period of November 2020 to January 2021, then February to April 2021. Initially the rate of the third grant (November to January) was set at 20% of prior year average trading profits, then increased to 40%, then on 2 November further increased to 55%, and finally today, 5 November, increased to 80%. The rates applying to the fourth tranche have not yet been announced.
This third tranche of SEISS grant now has a cap of £7,500 and to claim it, you need to be able to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria as for the first and second tranches, though you do not have to have made a claim for those earlier tranches. The eligibility criteria have not changed and broadly are that
- your business has been adversely affected by Covid 19 and either;
- you are currently actively trading but have reduced demand related to Covid, or
- you were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so because of Covid
You can claim separately for either of the grants or both of them depending upon how and when you have been affected. The HMRC website will open for claims for the third tranche on 30 November 2020.
If you need help in deciding your eligibility or in making the claim, please contact us in good time before the deadline date. We cannot, however, make the claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert to HMRC and cause complications and delay or negate the claim.
The institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that 5 in 6 self-employed people have seen a decline or cessation in their income due to Covid yet nearly 1 in 5 are ineligible for the SEISS. For those, Government has improved the Income Support system and has announced on 3 November that the minimum income floor for claiming Universal Credit is to continue to be suspended until April 2021. This should result in a higher Universal Credit claim for those ineligible for SEISS.