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Making claims, and 2020/1 extension to scheme

Making Claims and Miscellaneous (Including 2020/1 Extension To Scheme)

You cannot apply until HMRC contacts you. If eligible, HMRC will tell you when you can make your claim. Once your claim has been approved by HMRC, it will make payment within 6 working days.

SEISS is paid as a single sum for each three monthly period, not in monthly instalments. 

SEISS grant payments received must be treated as income and added to other income for tax purposes. In other words, it is taxable income and you have to show the payments on your tax return.

For the period covered by the scheme March to August 2020, you must have been trading when you applied under SEISS or would have been except for Covid-19 preventing it. For the extension period beginning November 2020 however, you must have been trading - see the paragraph about the extension below.

For the period March to August 2020, you did not have prove that you had been adversely impacted by Covid-19 nor did you have to prove the amount of loss suffered in order to make a claim, but HMRC did check to prevent fraud. (The "adverse effect" criterion is, in relation to the period November 2020 onwards, instead "impacted by reduced demand due to Covid-19" - see the paragraph below about the extension period.)

If you received SEISS grant payments for the March to August 2020 period you could continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work. (For November 2020 onwards, you must have been trading - see paragraph below about the November 2020 to April 2021 extension period.)

If you operate your business through a company, SEISS will not apply, but you can, as an employee of your company, make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Further extensions (Nov 2020-January 2021 and February-April 2021) to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The SEISS scheme originally covered the period 1 March to 31 August 2020 (1st and 2nd grant payments) but HM Government subsequently extended the Scheme.   

The extensions provide for two grants, paid in two lump sum instalments, one covering Nov 2020-Jan 2021 (3rd grant payment) and the other Feb-Apr 2021 (4th grant payment). The 3rd and 4th grant payments each had a limit of 80% of average trading profits with a cap of £7,500 for each of these two payments.

The dates for making a claim for the 3rd and 4th grant payments have both now passed.  

In order to qualify for the 3rd and 4th grants it was  necessary to meet the same conditions as for the earlier rounds. To be eligible for the 3rd and 4th grants, you had to be eligible for a previous round of SEISS (but you did not actually have to have made a claim under either the 1st or 2nd  rounds of SEISS).

However, two new, additional, conditions had to be met for the 3rd and 4th grants:

(1) you must have been actively trading at the time you claimed the grant and you must have intended to continue to trade; and

(2) you must have been “impacted by reduced demand due to COVID-19” in the "relevant period". (For a previous round of the SEISS grant, your business had to be “adversely affected”. The expression “impacted by reduced demand” is narrower than “adversely affected”.

As to the "relevant period", please see the details of the Scheme. 

The requirements to be “actively trading” and to be “impacted by reduced demand” did not apply to the 1st and 2nd grant. 

The requirement to be actively trading meant that businesses that had to close during the pandemic could not claim if they did not restart during the relevant period. (For the previous two grant rounds, you could make a claim where you had temporarily ceased to trade due to the Covid-19.)

H M Government is understood to have made this change for 1 November 2020 onwards to ensure that only viable businesses are supported and to align the scheme with the Job Support Scheme which required employees to be working at least a third of their usual hours.

For claims for the 3rd grant, please consult the details of the Scheme for the tax years in which it was necessary to have been trading, and to have produced accounts, and the tax years for which it was necessary to have filed a tax return.

In relation to the 4th grant (for the period 1 February-30 April 2021), you could make a claim (by 31st May 2021) provided that you traded in both of the tax years 2019/20 and 2020/1 and you submitted your tax return for the 2019/20 tax year by 2 March 2021.  

May-September 2021 extension to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

As to the 5th grant payment (for the six month period 1 May-30 September 2021) announced in the 2021 Budget, please note the following key points about it:

Applications for the grant can still be made until 30 September 2021.

Claims can be based on claimant's accounts for the years 2019-20 and 2020-1.

For the 5th grant, the business must continue to be affected by coronavirus, and the claimant must believe that they will have a "significant reduction" in profits for one of two reasons either because of "reduced demand, activity or capacity" or  because the business is unable to trade. 

The amount of the grant will be 80% of the relevant figure of "trading profit" if the claimant's turnover fell by at least 30%, with a cap on the amount of £7,500. If the claimant's turnover fell by less than 30% then the amount of the grant will be only 30% of the relevant figure of "trading profit", with a cap on the amount of £2,850. 

We will update this page further if and as necessary.

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