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HMRC issues warning to every self-employed worker claiming fifth SEISS grant

The UK Government has paid out £25.2billion in financial support to 2.9million self-employed individuals whose business has been affected by coronavirus through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show that 9.1 million total grants have been claimed by self-employed workers across the UK since the scheme launched in May last year.

HMRC also said that 3.4m self-employed individuals were identified as potentially eligible for the fourth SEISS grant – which closed for applications on June 1 – but that only 2m (58%) of that figure have actually made a claim. The average value per claim for the fourth SEISS grant was £2,800.

And now that applications for the fifth and final SEISS grant are open, HMRC has contacted eligible self-employed workers to make their claim, they have also issued a warning on social media.

In a recent Twitter post, HMRC reminded all self-employed claimants: “If you want to claim the fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, you must make the claim yourself. Never share your Government Gateway details. Agents cannot claim for you”

It also reminded claimants that “Help is available if English is not your first language”, you can access this on GOV.UK here.

To help more self-employed people make a successful claim for the fifth SEISS grant, HMRC has also updated its guidance on eligibility which we have outlined below.

Who can claim the fifth SEISS grant?

HMRC states that you should claim the fifth grant if you think that your business profit will be impacted by coronavirus between May 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021.

HMRC should have contacted you in July if you are eligible for the grant based on your tax returns. To be eligible for the final grant, you will need to meet all the criteria listed in stages 1, 2 and 3 below.

Stage 1: Your trading status and when you must have traded

You must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You must also have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020
  • 2020 to 2021

You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

Stage 2: Tax returns and trading profits

You must have:

  • submitted your 2019 to 2020 tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • trading profits of no more than £50,000
  • trading profits at least equal to your non-trading income

HMRC guidance on GOV.UK explains: “Non-trading income is any money that you make outside of your business. For example, if you also have a part-time job or pension.”

It adds: “If you’re not eligible based on the trading profits in your 2019 to 2020 return, we’ll look back at previous years.”

Find out more about how HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income here.

Stage 3: Deciding if you can claim

When you make your claim you must tell HMRC that you:

  • intend to keep trading in 2021 to 2022
  • reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of Covid-19 between May 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021

How different circumstances affect the SEISS scheme

There are some circumstances that you should take into account, such as:

  • your return is late, amended or under enquiry
  • you’re a member of a partnership
  • you had a new child
  • you have loans covered by the loan charge provisions
  • you claim averaging relief
  • you’re a military reservist
  • you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis

If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

How to claim SEISS 5

The fifth grant is different from previous grants. In most cases, when making your claim you will need to tell HMRC about your business turnover so they can work out your grant amount.

Turnover includes:

  • Takings
  • Fees
  • sales or money earned or received by your business

To make your claim, you will need to have two different turnover figures.

You will need to work out your turnover for:

  • a 12-month period starting between 1 April 2020 and 6 April 2020
  • either 2019 to 2020 or 2018 to 2019

HMRC will compare these figures to work out how much grant you will receive.

Find out how to work out your turnover so you can claim the grant on GOV.UK here.

When you do not need turnover figures to claim

HMRC will not ask you for any turnover figures if you started trading in 2019 to 2020 and did not trade in the following tax years:

  • 2018 to 2019
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2016 to 2017

How much will I get from the fifth SEISS grant?

There are two levels of the fifth SEISS grant.

HMRC will work out your grant amount based on how much your turnover is down by after they have compared your two turnover figures.

If your turnover is down by 30% or more:

  • You will get 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500

If your turnover is down by less than 30%:

  • You will get 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850

If you do not need turnover figures to claim

  • You will get 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500.

To find out more about the fifth SEISS grant or other financial support available, visit GOV.UK here.

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