Henry and Banwell Chartered Accountants > News > COVID-19 > CORONA VIRUS/COVID-19 – Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

CORONA VIRUS/COVID-19 – Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

  • Posted by: Michael Winkelmann

This is an update of the latest Government announcements regarding access to this Scheme which is opening next week – mid May 2020.

Application process

HMRC has now provided more information on the application process and timing.

From 4 May 2020, HMRC are contacting those self-employed individuals it believes are entitled to claim a SEISS grant. HMRC are also providing a link which is available to anyone, including agents and those who may not be contacted by HMRC to check eligibility.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#eligible

The SEISS application portal will open to taxpayers on a staged basis between 13 and 18 May with the portal opening on different days for selected taxpayers. The day is randomly allocated by HMRC and is not first come, first served.

Taxpayers can then log in to their government gateway account or select the option to create a gateway account in order to complete the application process.

HMRC will calculate the grant from its records and at no stage will the taxpayer have to provide any information about their income.

If the taxpayer does not already have a government gateway account one can be set up through the eligibility link above. You will need an email address to verify the account as well as some identification questions linked to driving license or UK passport or credit card history.

There will be an alternative telephone-based service for the digitally excluded but full details are not yet available.

HMRC will then check the claim and are expected to start making payments from 25 May 2020 or within six working days of the application being submitted, whichever is the later.

Role of agents

We have asked HMRC about allowing us as Tax Agents to claim on behalf of clients but this has not proven possible as this would have delayed the delivery of this one-off application service.

We can use the eligibility checker though and request a review for those that the checker says are not eligible and you can then send a copy of the calculations to us for review.

Any Tax Agent application on behalf of clients may lead to fraud checks and delays.

Background

This grant has been called the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme and is open to those who were trading in 2018/19, 2019/20 and plan to continue doing so this year.

A taxable grant will be paid to the self-employed or partnerships worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Please also note your self-employment profits must be equal to or more than your non-trading income ( which could be PAYE, Savings income, Pension, Rental profit etc). In other words self-employed profit needs to be 50% or more of total income to qualify.

Initially this grant will cover three months, payable as a one lump-sum payment commencing from the end of May 2020. We do not know if it will be extended yet.

The SEISS is in addition to the six-month postponement for any July 2020 self assessment payment on account due.

Eligibility

Self-employment income needs to be more than 50% of a claimant’s total income.

The scheme will be open to those with an annual trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018/19, or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from the three years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Those who are recently self-employed or do not have a full year of self-employment will not receive any help under this scheme and will have to rely on benefits.

Tax return 2018/19

The 2019 Self Assessment tax return had to be submitted by 23 April 2020 in order to qualify for this support.