The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme – Important Updates

Last updated 25th September 2020

Latest updates

***On Thursday 24th September, the Chancellor announced that the Government will be extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS). An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875.  An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April***


On Friday 29 May 2020, the Chancellor provided an update on the future of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The key details are included below:

  • The scheme has been extended for a further three months to August.
  • Applications will open in August.
  • The second grant will be paid out a single instalment covering three months’ worth of average monthly profits.
  • The value of the final grant will be 70% up to a total of £6,750.
  • The Chancellor said there will be no further extensions to the scheme.

More information can be found here.


HMRC have updated the guidance on the self-employed income support scheme and have added a tool to allow you or your agent to check if you are eligible.  This eligibility tool is available now and the claims online service will be available from 13 May 2020.  When you check if you are eligible, for those that are, you will be given a date and time from which the claim can be submitted.  

The original guidance suggested that HMRC would contact those eligible, however, this latest update urges all applicants to use this online tool.  HMRC state that an alternative to online will be available for those unable to apply online but is not available yet.

When using the tool to check, if you are eligible, you will be given the date and will then need to login to HMRC online to submit your contact details.  Currently, while your agent can complete the first part for you, your agent is not able to use agent logins to help you complete the registration so this will need to be completed by you.  Hopefully, however, HMRC will make further changes to the scheme to allow agents to help clients through the whole process and claim – but there is no certainty on that.


Actions

Many who have their tax returns completed by their agent will not have their own login details.  It can take a few days for the registration to be activated so we would encourage all those who believe they are eligible to sign up as early as possible so that the account is active by 13 May to make the application. 

Once the applications can be submitted, you can log in and submit your claim.  Once you have submitted your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved. The grant is due to be paid into your bank account within 6 working days of approval.

Click here to use the online eligibility tool. You’ll just need to have your unique tax reference (UTR) and national insurance number ready. 

We have found already that some individuals that do appear to meet the criteria to be eligible are being told they are not when using this tool.  As an agent, we are able to submit a request for this to be reviewed or this can be done by the individual. 

For all of the above, we have a team available at MHA Henderson Loggie on the phone or email to help our clients with this process. If you would like some help, please email Lucy.crow@hlca.co.uk.

We are not sure yet what help clients may require with claims under this new support scheme but we are ready to assist whatever the requirements and expect fees to be in the range of £60 to £195 + VAT.


Who is eligible?

  • The scheme will be open to anyone with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018/19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 over the last 3 tax years (2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19)
  • To qualify more than 50% of their income must come from self-employment so this will exclude those employed and self-employed if the majority of the income is from employment
  • You must be intending to continue trading in the following tax year (2020/21)
  • Must already be self-employed or in a partnership and have submitted a 2019 tax return to be eligible
  • Also applies to members of partnerships as they are deemed to be self-employed
  • Anyone who missed the filing deadline in January will have four weeks from 26 March to submit their tax return.

Self-employed Income Support Scheme FAQs

Can I apply for the grant and continue to work?

People will be able to claim these grants and continue to do business.

What if I am self-employed but have not submitted my tax return for 2019?

You have 4 weeks from 26 March 2020 to file the 2019 tax return and still be eligible for this scheme.

What if I became self-employed after 5 April 2019?

To minimise the risk of fraud in the scheme, anyone not self-employed or in partnership with the 2019 tax return submitted to HMRC either by 31 January 2020 or within the 4-week deadline from 26 March will not be eligible and should look at Universal Credit and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Will applying for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme grant reduce or make me ineligible for other support I can apply for?

Applying for the grant will not affect eligibility for other support including universal credit and business continuity loans.

What if I was self-employed and submitted a 2019 tax return but do not have 3 years?

You will still be eligible, and the grant will be based on the average of the profits that you do have.