Full details of the third SEISS grant to support self-employed people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) have been published on GOV.UK.
The rules on who is eligible to claim have changed. However, your clients will still need to have submitted a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 showing self-employment income in order to claim (unless one of the existing exceptions applies).
The third grant, which offers 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single taxable instalment capped at £7,500, will be available covering the period from 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021. Self-employed people who are eligible and in need of support will be able to claim the third grant at any time from 30 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.
Help your clients get ready
- Check who is eligible to claim as this is different to the previous SEISS grants. Go to GOV.UK and search for ‘Self Employment Income Support Scheme’.
- Be aware that, like SEISS 1 and 2, you cannot claim this grant on behalf of your clients; they must do so themselves. If you try to make a claim on a client’s behalf, it will trigger a fraud alert that will delay the payment. Applying online is quick and easy. Similar to the process for SEISS 1 and 2, it takes just 5 minutes and they can do it on a smartphone.
Who is eligible
To make a claim for the third grant, your clients must meet a number of conditions, and make an honest assessment about whether they reasonably believe their trading profits will be significantly reduced due to coronavirus.
As previously, the third grant will also be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must also be reported on 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax returns.
As before, to make a claim for the third grant, your clients must:
- be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. They cannot claim the grant if they trade through a limited company or a trust
- have traded in both the tax years 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.
For the third SEISS grant your clients must also:
- either be currently trading but are impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand, or have been previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
- declare that they intend to continue to trade, and that they reasonably believe that the impact on their business will cause a significant reduction in their trading profits
- only claim if the reduction in profits is caused by reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or inability to trade due to coronavirus – reduction in profits due to increased costs (such as having to buy masks) does not count for this purpose.
When deciding whether the reduction is significant, your clients will need to consider their wider business circumstances.
We expect claimants to make an honest assessment about whether they reasonably believe their trading profits will be significantly reduced compared to what they would otherwise expect to achieve during this period.
The business must have been impacted on or after 1 November 2020. Your clients must keep evidence to show the impact and reduction in their business activity across the qualifying period.
For more information and examples to help you check eligibility to claim, go to GOV.UK and search for ‘Self Employment Income Support Scheme’.
We’re contacting all self-employed people in the UK that may be eligible to let them know about the third grant.
There will also be a fourth grant (covering the three-month period from February 2021 to April 2021). We’ll tell you more about that nearer the time, including how much it will be and the rules for claiming.
I hope this information helps you and your clients. We’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments.
Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary – HMRC