What is the nature of SEISS?
Payments made under SEISS are to help compensate for lost trading profits due to Covid-19.
The payments are by way of a grant, not a loan. If you have an entitlement to receive any payment, it does not subsequently become repayable.
The scheme is for self-employed people, not employees, and so it is important to ensure that you are clear that you are self-employed if you wish to make a claim. The Government’s intent is that SEISS will provide parity with the scheme for employees, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The SEISS scheme operates in addition to any others that might be available to a sole trader or other business in the circumstances, e.g. business interruption loans, small business loans, tax, VAT, business rates or other reliefs, deferrals or benefits available (whether or not by virtue of Covid-19).
If you properly claim an SEISS payment (i.e. you are eligible at the time of claim) but you find that later in the year your profits increase, none of the SEISS amount paid to you will be clawed back by HMRC.
SEISS initially provided a single instalment payment to cover the period March, April and May 2020 (1st payment). This was extended to provide a single payment to cover the period June, July and August 2020 (2nd payment), and then again to provide a single payment to cover the three month period November 2020 to January 2021 (3rd payment). SEISS was once again extended to provide a single payment to cover the three month period February to April 2021 (4th payment).
The deadlines for applying for these first four payments have now all passed.
The Chancellor announced in his 2021 Budget that the scheme was to be further extended to provide a single payment to cover the six month period May to September 2021 (5th payment). Applications can be made in late July 2021.