Self employed income support scheme (SEISS)

The self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months during this coronavirus pandemic. This may be extended if needed.

The Government guidance notes that this is only where income has been lost due to the coronavirus outbreak, but gives no further details of how this will be established. The SEISS is intended to open at the beginning of June, and claims will be backdated to March and paid in one instalment.
The grant will be taxable and subject to national insurance and will also be recognised as income for the purposes of universal credit and tax credits.

Who will be eligible?

In order to be eligible for the grant, you need to be a self employed individual or a member of a partnership and you will have submitted your tax return for 2018/19, have continued to trade into the tax year 2019/20 and be trading when the application is made, or would have been trading had the coronavirus outbreak not occurred.
Also, the trading profits of the business or partnership need to be below £50,000, and more than half of the individual’s income has to come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of following conditions being true:

  • Firstly, in the tax year 2018/19, were profits less than £50,000 and more than half of total taxable income?
  • Alternatively, was the average of the last three tax years’ trading profits less than £50,000, and, again, was this more than half of average taxable income for these tax years?

If the business has not been trading for three years, the limit will be based on the tax years for which a return has been filed.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

How much you will get?
You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

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

To work out the average, HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

They will pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one installment.

How to apply
There is no application process at the moment in relation to Self Employed Income Support Scheme. HMRC will use tax returns already submitted to contact those who are eligible and invite them to apply online.