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As with the earlier Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants, claim slots will be made available on a staggered basis. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will provide a date from which you may make your claim until 29th January 2021.

It is not yet known how much will be available to claim for the three-month period from 1st February 2021. The Government is waiting until the Budget on 3rd March 2021 before announcing further details.

HMRC will email using the same email address you supplied when you claimed the earlier grants. Should HMRC not have an email address or you did not claim the earlier grants, HMRC will contact you by letter.

You should make your claim from the date HMRC gave you in its letter or email. If you can’t find this date, please visit the online service to check.

If you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC do not respond as this may be a scam.

How to check if you are eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme 

Using information it already holds, HMRC is contacting everyone it thinks may be eligible to make a claim. However, not everyone who is contacted will be entitled to a grant.  

For example, HMRC will not always know if you meet all conditions of the scheme, such as whether you have traded in the current tax year. 

More information about eligibility for SEISS may be found here.

In a nutshell, you must meet the following conditions to be eligible to make a claim for the third SEISS grant:

  • Your business must either:
    be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus; or
    have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
  • You must have traded in the tax year 2018/19 and submitted your self-assessment tax return on or before 23rd April 2020 for that year.
  • You must have traded in the tax year 2019/20.
  • Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment for either the tax year 2018/19 or the average of the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19.  

HMRC has provided more details about how it works out trading profits and non-trading income for SEISS here.


How to claim for the third Self-employment Income Support Scheme grant

As with the earlier grants, you can only make the claim yourself. HMRC states your accountant cannot claim the grant on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, which will delay your payment.

HMRC has tried to make the claim process as simple as possible and they believe the whole process should only take up a few minutes of your time.

Please click here  for our step-by-step guide to making a claim

You will need the following information to hand in order to make your claim:

  • Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    * Bank account number
    * Sort code
    * Name on the account
    * Your address linked to your bank account

More details are available here what a UTR number is and where to find your UTR number.

A link to the HMRC claim portal, where you can make your claim, can be found here.

When you have logged in, you will be presented with information about how your grant has been calculated and be asked the following: 

  • Read and accept the eligibility criteria 
  • Complete several declarations, including confirmation that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus 
  • Supply the bank account details into which they would like the grant to be paid 

What happens next

If your claim is approved, HMRC aims to pay your grant directly into your bank account within six working days, in a single instalment.

The online system will also tell you how much you will be paid and how HMRC calculated your entitlement, which will be based on your submitted tax returns.

If you don’t receive the grant within 10 working days of completing your claim, you should contact HMRC.

Records you must keep

You must keep a copy of all records, including the amount claimed, the claim period and the grant claim reference.

You also need to keep evidence to prove your business is experiencing reduced demand, or is temporarily unable to trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you know your business best, HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether it has been impacted by coronavirus. There is no minimum threshold over which your business’ income or costs need to have changed. You will need to keep a record of evidence of how your business has been impacted..

If you claimed an SEISS grant that you were not eligible for or received more money than you are entitled to, you must notify HMRC within 90 days of receiving the grant. 

If you don’t notify HMRC within 90 days, it can impose a penalty.

Don’t forget that you must report your SEISS grant on your Self-Assessment tax return as taxable income. You may also need to update your Universal Credit or Tax Credit claims.

Date published 2 Dec 2020 | Last updated 26 Jan 2021

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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