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

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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 and final 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. Businesses will be entitled to make a claim from 17 August. The closing date for the second round is 19 October 2020.

HMRC have updated their detailed guidance on the SEISS. This says:

  • The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant … If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.
  • The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
  • As with the first grant HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible. We will work out your eligibility for the second grant in the same way as the first grant.
  • You can make a claim for the second grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant …
  • If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as a military reservist.
  • The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. But you can follow these steps to help you understand how we will do this and what you can do now.

  1. Find out who can claim.
  2. Find out how HMRC works out your grant.
  3. Make your claim when the online service is available.
  4. Find out when you’ll get the money paid into your bank and how to record the grant.[1]

As with other aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Government’s response to it, this is a fast-moving area and the paper should be read as correct at the time of publication. Similarly, as with other Commons Briefing papers, this information is provided to Members of Parliament in support of their parliamentary duties and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. A suitably qualified professional should be consulted if specific advice or information is required.

Notes: 

[1]     HMRC, Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, 16 July 2020

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