HMRC have now issued further guidance for the government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which will open ahead of schedule on the 13th May, 2020.
The scheme will benefit self-employed individuals or those in a partnership whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, covering most people who get at least half of their income from self-employment. SEISS is a temporary scheme that will enable those eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits) in a single instalment.
HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their 2018-19 tax return – and returns for 2016-17 and 2017-18 where needed.
The first step to making a claim under this scheme is to use HMRC’s online eligibility checker which can be found here https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference you will need your UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) and your National Insurance number. If you are eligible to make a claim then you will be directed from here to set up a Government Gateway account. This could take up to 10 days to be operational.
Once a Government Gateway account is set up you will be given a date and possibly a time window to make your claim, these will be spread across 4 days. We have been advised that you should aim to complete your claim in this timeframe outlined by HMRC but if you do miss your date/time you will be able to log in at a later date and submit your claim. You will not be able to log in earlier to submit your claim.
You will be asked to identify why/how COVID-19 has affected your business. This could be due to you personally shielding, isolating or caring, or the business having to scale down or temporarily stop trading as client numbers decreased.
You will need to enter the bank details of the account you would like the grant paid into. We would like to stress that this is a grant and not a loan. However you will need to report the grant:
- on your self-assessment tax return
- as self employed income for Universal credit claims
- as self employed income for any tax credits claims
This will not affect claims for earlier periods.
Monies will be paid into bank accounts 6 days after the claim has been approved by HMRC.
HMRC have stated that applying for this scheme is down to the individual and that accountants are not to submit these claims on our clients behalf, we have been advised that this is for security purposes. We will however still be able to answer any questions and offer advice.
If you use the eligibility checker and are not eligible for the scheme please contact us.