SEISS – more red tape
Government support to the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is due to end on 30 September 2021. A fifth and final grant covering the period May 2021 to September 2021 will be opened to claims from late July for those who have suffered a significant reduction in trading profits. To qualify for the grant, average trading profits must be £50,000 or less and non-trading income cannot exceed 50% of total income.
The grant will see those whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more continuing to receive the full 80% grant (capped at £7,500) whilst those whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant (capped at £2,850). This is a change from the previous SEISS grants where there was only one grant available to qualifying applicants.
HMRC is in the process of contacting eligible taxpayers to notify them of their personal claim date. Taxpayers will be able to make claims from this date up until the claims service closes on 30 September 2021.
Most taxpayers claiming the fifth SEISS grant will be required to provide turnover figures to make a claim. The turnover figures will be used to compare the 'pandemic year' with a 'reference period'.
Newly self-employed people, who had previously been excluded from claims because they commenced their trade during the 2019-20 tax year, are eligible to claim the fifth SEISS grants if their tax return for 2019-20 was filed by midnight 2 March 2021. They must also have traded or intended to trade in 2020-21 and intend to continue doing so.
HMRC is also warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for SEISS-related scams and to only respond to correspondence that is verified to be legitimate.