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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will allow self employed workers to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, for 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

The online service opened on 13 May 2020. If you’re eligible, HMRC will tell you the date you can make your claim from which will be between 13 and 18‌‌ May. This date is assigned randomly to help HMRC manage demand on the service, making sure that everyone who needs to make a claim can do so. If your claim is approved you’ll receive your payment within 6 working days.

If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available.

Check if you’re eligible to claim

You can check if you are eligible using the government’s online tool.

You’ll need your:

Other criteria for the scheme include:

  • Where the self employed worker has 3 years accounts, the profits will be the average monthly profits of the last 3 years
  • Where the self employed worker doesn’t have 3 years accounts, it will be the average of the shorter period
  • It will be open to self employed workers with profits of less than £50,000 in 2018/19 tax year, or an average of £50,000 over the tax years 2018/19, 2017/18 and 2016/17
  • The grant will be available from June 2020 and paid directly into the self employed workers bank account
  • More than half of their income must come from self employment

HMRC will work out whether you are eligible for the scheme based on your total income and trading profits.

Trading profits are based on the figures on your tax return for your total trading income (turnover) minus any allowable business expenses and capital expenditure. HMRC will not deduct any losses carried forward or your personal allowance from your trading profits.

Allowable expenses include:

  • Office costs such as stationary or phone bills
  • Travel costs such as fuel, parking or train fares
  • Uniforms or other clothing expenses
  • Staff costs or subcontractors
  • Training courses
  • Marketing costs such as websites or advertising
  • Business premises costs
  • Financial costs such as bank charges and insurance

It also includes:

  • Any business expenses deducted through the trading allowance
  • Capital allowances, used to buy assets used in your business
  • Qualifying care relief
  • Flat rate expenses

To see more details of how HMRC access eligibility and examples of different scenarios, please visit their website.

Requesting a review of your entitlement

If you have used HMRC’s eligibility checker to check if you are eligible to receive a grant and it says you are either not eligible to receive a grant or you disagree with the amount of the grant that HMRC has calculated  for you, then you can ask for a review of your eligibility status.

Unlike making the claim, which must be done by yourself, asking HMRC for a review of your eligibility status can be done by either the claimant or their agent. If you are an Ellacotts client, we can help you with this.

Support for anyone who is due to make Self Assessment payment on account due on 31 July 2020

If you due to make a payment on account under Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

As part of the UK200Group we have access to up-to-the-minute information and can help you get access to the support you need. We’ll be keeping you informed in general terms, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

If you’d like to speak with one of our tax advisers about the key points above please call Ann Bibby on 01295 250401 or abibby@ellacotts.co.uk.

Read more about the other Coronavirus support packages the government has announced: