The Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been introduced by the Government to deliver emergency financial support to those that are self-employed or a member of a partnership in the UK and have lost income due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The government launched a portal to enable self employed people to make a claim covering the period March to May 2020 inclusive and the portal for the first phase opened in mid May 2020 and closes on 13 July 2020.

A further announcement provided a “final” extension and a second tranche of funding, at a reduced level, to be made available in August, covering the period June to August.

When can I make my claim for a government grant?

The government portal to submit claims is now live at GOV.UK. It is currently accepting claims for the first phase of claims only. Each eligible claimant has been given their own personalised claim date when they can submit their claim. We expect this same system to operate for the second phase of funding in August.

Log in using this link to see the date you are able to submit your claim and whether you are eligible to claim under the SEISS.

Before you follow the link to the eligibility checker make sure you have the following information ready:

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR); and
  • Your National Insurance Number.

Setting up a Government Gateway account

Self-employed taxpayers wanting to claim will need a Government Gateway account to make their claim.

If you do not already have a Government Gateway account, you can set one up here.

Once you have clicked on the link you will then need to:

  • Select “Create an account” at the bottom of the page; and
  • Then select the “Create a Government Gateway account” option.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for an SEISS grant, you must have:

  • Submitted your Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19 before 23 April 2020;
  • Traded in the tax year 2019/20;
  • Be trading at the time of application, or would be except for Coronavirus; and
  • Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/21.

What are the financial requirements my business should meet in order to qualify?

Your business must be able to demonstrate that it has been adversely affected by Coronavirus.

HMRC will check your tax returns to see if you are eligible by looking at whether:

  • The trading profits for your business must be no more than £50,000; and
  • Self-employment profits or partnership profit shares must comprise more than 50% of your total income for either the tax year 2018/19
  • OR; the average of the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19.

How much government support can I claim?

The scheme enables self-employed individuals or a member of a partnership to claim a taxable grant worth: 80% of their average monthly trading profits;

  • Up to a maximum of £2,500 a month for three months, so a maximum lump sum of £7,500 in total can be claimed; and
  • The grant is subject to Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions.

From August 2020 individuals or a member of a partnership will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits;

  • Up to a maximum lump sum of £6,570 for three months’ worth of profits in total can be claimed; and
  • The grant is subject to Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions.

How M+A Partners can help you

As your tax agent, M+A Partners cannot make this claim for you as we would usually do but we can support you with your queries on your eligibility for the grant and how to make your claim. This is because claims for this grant must be made by the self-employed taxpayer.

If you need help with creating your Government Gateway account or would like remote support in making a claim then please get in touch with your usual contact at M+A Partners as a matter of urgency so we can help you through this process.

Should you require remote support, additional information is provided below in our ‘How to use TeamViewer’ factsheet.

For further details on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme please download our factsheet below.