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COVID-19 Advice for Business – Preparing to claim under the SEISS - news article image

COVID-19 Advice for Business – Preparing to claim under the SEISS

6 May 2020

3 minute read

HMRC have started to contact self-employed individuals who are eligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme in readiness for the service launch on Wednesday 13 May. HMRC is using information that individuals have provided in their 2018-19 tax return (and returns for 2016-17 and 2017-18 if needed) to determine their eligibility and will be contacting people who may be eligible via email, SMS or letter.

Following are some FAQ’s about the scheme.

Can I check whether I am eligible before HMRC contact me?

An online checker is now available which will let taxpayers check their eligibility for themselves, as well as giving them a date on which they can apply. Individuals will need their unique taxpayer reference (UTR) and National Insurance (NI) number and should ensure their details are up-to-date in their government gateway account.

How much will I receive?
You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over three tax years (2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019). The grant will be 80% of your average monthly trading profits which will be capped at £7,500 altogether. The online service will tell you how HMRC have calculated the total payment.

When will payments be made?

Payments will be reaching bank accounts by 25 May, or six working days after the claim is made and will comprise of one payment which will be made directly to your bank account.

What will I need when I make the claim?

  • Self-Assessment UTR
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online
  • Bank account number and sort code you want the grant to be paid into

You will also have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. By making the claim HMRC will treat this as confirmation you’re below the state aid limits.

Once you’ve submitted your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved.

Unfortunately, we cannot prepare or submit the claim on your behalf but if you are a client of Shaw Gibbs, we can provide you with the information you require to make the claim. 

If I am eligible, can I continue/return to work?

You can continue to work, go back to your existing work or start a new trade as well as start new employment (including voluntary work).

What happens if I am not eligible?

Where individuals are ineligible for the scheme, HMRC will direct them to guidance setting out the conditions to help them understand why they are ineligible, and advice about other support that might be available to them, such as income tax deferrals, rental support, Universal Credit, access to mortgage holidays and the various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during the pandemic.

What records should I keep after making the claim?
You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including:

  • The amount claimed
  • The claim reference number for your records
  • Evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus

You will need to report the grant:

  • On your Self-Assessment tax return
  • As self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims
  • As self-employed income and that you’re working 16 hours a week for any tax credits claims

HMRC warns it expects support phone lines to be very busy over the next few weeks as people enter this new scheme, so is encouraging taxpayers to only call if they cannot find what they need on GOV.UK, from their tax agent or via HMRC’s webchat service.

COVID-19 Advice for Business – Preparing to claim under the SEISS - news article image


Lorna Straker

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