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To support the self-employed through the coronavirus outbreak the Government introduced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The Scheme has paid taxable grants worth 80% of someone’s average monthly trading profit, for a three-month period, worth up to £7,500 in total. On 30 April, the Government published the Treasury Direction to HM Revenue & Customs, the statutory guidelines for HMRC to administer the SEISS. The Scheme was opened for applications on 13 May, and closed on 13 July.

On 29 May the Government announced a second round of the SEISS, with those eligible able to claim a second grant, worth 70% of their average monthly trading profit, for a further three months, capped at £6,570 in total. On 2 July a second Treasury Direction was published to this effect. Applications for the second grant were opened on 17 August, and were closed on 19 October. With the closure of the second grant scheme, HMRC has now withdrawn its detailed guidance on the SEISS.[1]

On 24 September the Government announced an extension to the SEISS to be introduced in November, to cover the six months up to the end of April 2021. The SEISS Grant Extension is to be the form of two taxable grants – first to cover November to January, second to cover February to April.  Initially it was proposed that the first of these grants would cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, capped at £1,875.  However, on 22 October the Chancellor announced the first grant would cover 40% of average monthly trading profits, capped at £3,750. HMRC has published further details of the SEISS Grant Extension, as follows:

Who can claim

  • To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:
    • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
    • 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

What the Grant Extension covers

  • The extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
  • The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total. The Government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme.
  • The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
  • The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.

How to claim

  • HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.[2]

Notes : 

[1]     HM Revenue & Customs, Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, 20 October 2020

[2]     HM Revenue & Customs, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension, 22 October 2020

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