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Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

26th March 2020 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : CoronaVirus, News, Personal Tax, Small Business Advice, Sole Traders, Tax Advice
Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – what we know at this moment in time.

Communication to IN Accountancy clients March 26 2020 in relation to financial support available to the self employed during the current coronavirus crisis:

I hope you and your loved ones are all staying well.

I know that a number of you will have been waiting with anticipation and urgency this evening’s announcement about what financial support would be made available for the self employed.

There is a great deal that we do not yet know, and as details come to light we will be sure to share these with you.

The information below is taken directly from official government sites only and current at 22:30 on Thursday 26 March 2020.

For now, this is what we do know:


Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

What is it?

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of partnership;
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. 
  • This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
    • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
    • Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

How do I access it?

Individuals should not contact HMRC now!

HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by beginning of June 2020. For eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have 4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.

You must do this by 23 April 2020

HMRC are publishing guidance on the scheme, available here. This guidance will continue to be updated.

When can I access it?

HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid by the beginning of June 2020. This time is necessary to ensure that the scheme is both deliverable and fair. In the interim the self-employed will still able eligible for other government support including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans.

Further information on how to access these schemes can be found here.

How to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

Be careful of scammers!!

You will be able to access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam!!

Please feel free to share and as always if we can be of any help in these challenging times please feel free to contact me directly.  Just bear with me as I try to respond to all queries and questions.

For now, stay safe, and look after yourselves and one another.

Very best wishes
Sarah x