Claims for the fifth grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will open from late July. If, based on your tax returns, HMRC think that you are eligible for the grant, they will contact you in mid-July and give you a date from which you can submit your claim. The fifth grant will cover the period from May 2021 to September 2021. However, unlike previous grants, the amount of this grant will depend on the extent to which you suffered a reduction in your turnover in the year from April 2020 to April 2021 as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are a self-employed individual or an individual member of a partnership and you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to claim the fifth and final SEISS grant. To qualify, you must have traded in 2019/20, and also in 2020/21. You must either be trading currently, or have been trading but are unable to do so temporarily as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, you must have filed your 2019/20 tax return by midnight on 2 March 2021.
As previously, you will only qualify for the grant if your trading profits are not more than £50,000 and they account for at least 50% of your total income. In deciding whether this test is met, HMRC will look first at your return for 2019/20. If you are not eligible based on your 2019/20 income, HMRC will then look at your returns from 2016/17 to 2019/20 inclusive and work out whether you are eligible based on your average income for those years.
When making your claim, you must declare that:
- you intend to trade; and
- you reasonably believe that there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or the inability to trade as a result of COVID-19 during the period from May 2021 to September 2021.
If you meet the eligibility conditions, the amount of your grant will depend on the extent to which your turnover fell as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during the year to April 2021.
If your turnover fell during this period by at least 30% as a result of the impact of the pandemic, your fifth grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, subject to a maximum grant of £7,500.
If your turnover fell in the year to April 2021 as a result of the impact of COVID-19, but by less than 30%, you will be able to claim a grant worth 30% of three months’ trading profits, subject to a maximum grant of £2,850.
You should keep evidence in support of your claim, showing how your business has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extent to which your turnover and profits have fallen as a result.
Although HMRC’s rules do not allow us to claim the grant on your behalf, we can check whether you are eligible, and, if you are, help you work out the extent to which your turnover has fallen as a result of the pandemic, and the amount that you are able to claim.