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The latest Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) news

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is being extended, but the scope will be narrower and third and fourth grants less generous.

Fewer businesses will qualify this time around thanks to new eligibility criteria emerging in the next phase of the grant.

This is what we know so far.

Rishi Sunak recently announced that the UK Covid 19 support scheme for the self-employed is being extended.

Following this, further details have been released confirming the eligibility criteria is changing for the next phase of the grant.

SEISS Criteria

Claimants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible according to HMRC’s factsheet:

  1. Be currently eligible for the SEISS (although it is not necessary to have claimed the previous grants).
  2. Be actively trading at the time the grant is claimed and intend to continue to trade.
  3. Be impacted by reduced demand due to COVID-19 in the qualifying period.

 

The qualifying period for the third grant runs from 1 November to the date of claim. The qualifying period for the fourth grant is expected to run from 1 February 2021 to the date of that claim.

The new eligibility requirements are having to be “actively trading” and “impacted by reduced demand”.

 

HMRC is expected to publish further guidance to clarify the meaning of these terms in due course.

 

Businesses forced to close during the pandemic won’t be able to claim if they have not restarted trading during the qualifying period.

This policy decision is designed to ensure that only viable businesses are supported, as we understand it.

A condition of previous grants was the business being ‘adversely affected.

It is understood that, under new criteria, the business being ‘impacted by reduced demand’ is likely to be defined more narrowly.

Grants will be based on the same tax years as the previous grants.

This means information on 2019/20 self-assessment tax returns that have been filed will not be considered.

The third grant

The third SEISS grant will provide a taxable sum calculated as 20% of average monthly trading profits.

This will be paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits and capped at £1,875.

The level has been set so as to offer broadly the same level of government support that is being provided to employees through the Job Support Scheme.

The fourth SEISS grant is to be kept under review and set in due course.

HMRC will provide full details about how to claim on gov.uk and we will publish more information as it becomes available.

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