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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extension – Headlines and details that we have so far

The Government has announced another extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

What will it cover

As with the previous instalments of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, the extension will provide support to the self-employed in the form of two further grants, each available for three month periods, the first covering February 2021 to April 2021 and the second May 2021 to July 2021.

Who is the scheme available to?

The scheme will be available to the self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. The individuals must:

  • Declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • Are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
    • Were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected. HMRC have provided some guidance on eligibility for making a claim, with examples that can help you decide

These measures are stricter than the requirements for the first and second grants, which only required that an individual was adversely affected.

As a reminder, to have been eligible for the SEISS first, second or third grant, your self-employed trading profits must no more than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • Having trading profits/partnership trading profits* in 2018-19 or 2019-20 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • Having average trading profits* in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

This extension unfortunately does not support those who had profits of greater than £50,000 historically.

What support is available?

The extension will last for six months with grants payable in two instalments covering each three month period.

Support for the period from 1 February until 30 April 2021 will provide a taxable grant of 80% of three months average trading profits, capped a £7,500 per instalment. This now bears a closer resemblance to the CJRS scheme for furloughed staff, rather than the initially announced support of 55% of profits.

For the 1 May 2021 – 31 July 2021 the grant will continue to cover 80% as per the previous grant, if your taxable profits have decreased by more than 30%, if the decrease is less than 30% then you will receive a 30% grant. Again we will give more details on this when we have them.

How to claim

The online service for the third grant, is now live at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme#whatyoullneed

HMRC is aiming to check the claim and make payments of the grant within six working days.

It is recommended that you keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus.

What other support is available to the self-employed immediately?

The self-employed could also gains access to funding via the business interruption loan scheme which has been extended, universal credit and the deferral of income tax payments.

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