To help self-employed individuals through the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a fourth and fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.
The SEISS was originally announced to support self-employed individuals whose businesses were impacted by coronavirus.
So far, there have been three SEISS grants provided, covering the period from March 2020 to January 2021. The SEISS has already supported 2.7 million people, with claims totaling £19.7 billion.
Fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant
As with the third SEISS grant, the fourth grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total.
The grant will cover the period from February 2021 to April 2021.
It is expected claims can be made from late April.
Further details on eligibility are due to be released but self-employed individuals who completed tax returns for the 2019/20 tax year will qualify, provided their return was submitted to HMRC by midnight on 2nd March 2021.
The Government estimates this means that over 600,000 individuals may be newly eligible for SEISS grants, including many newly self-employed. The provisional guidance is that other eligibility criteria will remain the same as the third grant.
Fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant
The Government also announced a fifth and final SEISS grant covering the period from May 2021 to September 2021.
The value of the fifth grant will be determined by a new turnover test.
Individuals whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500.
Individuals whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850.
It is expected that the final grant can be claimed from late July 2021.
Further details are expected to be published shortly.
New Government taskforce to check claims
In a sign the Government intends to crack down on fraudulent claims, it also announced a £100 million investment to create a Taxpayer Protection Taskforce. This new team will focus on combating fraud within coronavirus support packages, such as Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The Government also plans to raise awareness of enforcement action in order to deter fraud and plan to significantly strengthen law enforcement for Bounce Back Loans.
For more about what Rishi Sunak announced in his Budget and how these changes may affect you and your business, please visit our dedicated Budget Hub.
Date published 03 Mar 2021 | Last updated 03 Mar 2021