Self-employed workers have been waiting patiently for details of the fifth Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant to be revealed by the UK Government.
Information about how people would be able to claim the grant was supposed to be published in late June but was delayed until July 2021.
But in welcome news for the self-employed, the final grant to be made available during the Covid pandemic has now opened for applications.
Here’s what you need to know about the grant, including what it is, who is eligible and how to claim it.
What is the fifth SEISS grant?
The fifth SEISS grant is the last in a series of government payments worth up to £7,500 made available to support eligible self-employed individuals through the pandemic.
While many people have benefited from the scheme during lockdown, there has been criticism about the number of people who are ineligible to claim the grants.
Who is eligible for the grant?
Those who were eligible for the fourth grant should be eligible for the fifth payment.
To count as eligible, you need to be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.
You must have:
- Traded in the tax years 2019-20, and submitted your tax return on or before 2 March 2021
- Traded in the tax years 2020-21
- Be currently trading, but are impacted by reduced demand due to Covid
- Have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to Covid.
HMRC will look at your 2019-20 self-assessment tax return to work out if you’re eligible for the final grant.
Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.
If you’re not eligible based on your 2019-20 tax return, HMRC will then look at the other tax years, starting from 2016-17.
Around 600,000 more people are eligible to apply for both the fourth and fifth grants, due to Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing some changes to the scheme earlier this year which meant newly self-employed people were able to claim.
Now, workers are able to submit their 2019-20 and 2020-21 self assessment tax returns, while before this was limited to people with tax returns for the year 2018-19.
If you’re unable to claim the grant, you may be entitled to further government financial support through Universal Credit.
How much can I claim?
The amount of the final grant will be decided by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.
The grant is taxable and is worth either 30% or 80% of your average trading profits for three months.
If your turnover has decreased by 30% or above, the grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits and the total grant will have a cap of £7,500.
Meanwhile, if your turnover has decreased by less than 30%, the grant will be worth 30% of three months’ average trading profits and will have a cap of £2,850.
The government has released a guide on how to calculate your turnover.
How can I claim the grant?
Applications will be made in the same way as the other grants and you should receive a notification from HMRC via email, text message, letter or within the online SEISS portal if you’re eligible to apply.
When claiming the fifth SEISS grant, you must declare that you intend to continue trading.
You also need to declare that you reasonably expect there to be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity or inability to trade due to the pandemic in the time frame May to September 2021.
It is also helpful to keep evidence that shows how your business has been affected by the pandemic.
The official guidance states you will need the following to make a claim:
- Your self-assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
- Your National Insurance number
- Your Government Gateway user ID and password
- Your UK bank details, including account number, sort code, name on the account and address linked to the account. You should only provide bank details which can accept Bacs payments.
When can I apply for the fifth SEISS grant?
The fifth grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has finally opened for applications.
Eligible claimants are now able to submit their information to get the government grant via the online service.
HMRC has been contacting people from mid-July with their personal claim dates to apply for the grant if it has deemed them eligible based on their tax returns.
The guidance states that people should make their claim on or after their allocated personal claim date.
If you have not yet heard anything, you should soon.
Claim dates are staggered like they were with the previous grants, so you need to wait until you are given a date to apply.
After you have made a claim, it could take up to six working days for your grant to be paid into your bank account.
But you should wait 10 working days before contacting HMRC if you haven’t received your payment.
When is the deadline for the grant?
If you’re planning to make a claim, you’ll need to do so on or before 30 September 2021 to ensure you get the grant.