Third self-employed coronavirus grant opens for applications

Third self-employed coronavirus grant opens for applications
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 1st Dec 2020

Eligible self-employed people can now apply for the third Self-employment Income Support Scheme grant.

Following the new coronavirus lockdown measures, the government has extended the scheme. The grant covers 80% of past trading profits, up to a cap of £7,500 and covers the period from 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.

Applications for the third grant are open until 29 January 2021. You can make a claim here.

Eligibilty for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme third grant

As with the first and second grant, to be eligible for the third self-employed grant the following applies:

  • You self-employed or a member of a partnership. Limited company directors can't apply

  • You must have traded in the 2018-2019 tax year and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

  • You must have traded in the 2019-2020 tax year

  • You must intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-2021

  • Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading profits in your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. If you're not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, HMRC will look at the tax years 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019.

There are some differences in eligibility for certain people including new parents in 2018-19 tax year and military reservists. There are more details here.

In a change to the eligibility, you must now "reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period 1 November to 29 January 2021". You can't claim if the reduction in profits is due to increased costs such as having to buy face masks. There are detailed examples here.

You must keep evidence to show how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.

How to make a SEISS claim

You can make a claim here until 29 January 2021. You must submit a claim yourself. Tax agents cannot claim the grant on behalf of their clients. If they do, it will trigger a fraud alert that will delay the payment. To apply, you will need:

  • Your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

  • Your National Insurance number

  • Your Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have an existing user ID you can create one when you claim

  • Your UK bank details including a bank account number, sort code, name on the account and your address linked to your bank accou

Due to demand, HMRC is encouraging people to using the online rather than phone lines for guidance on applying to ensure that those unable to go online or having difficulties applying can get through on the helplines as quickly as possible.

Receiving the third SEISS grant

HMRC will check your claim and pay the grant into your bank account within six working days. You will receive the grant in one payment to cover 80% of past trading profits up to a cap of £7,500 for the period from 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.

You will receive an email when your payment is on its way.

Records you need to keep

You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including the:

  • amount claimed

  • grant claim reference

If you're currently trading but have reduced demand

You must keep any evidence that your business has had reduced activity, capacity or demand due to coronavirus at the time you made your claim, such as:

  • business accounts showing reduction in activity compared to previous years

  • records of reduced or cancelled contracts or appointments

  • fewer invoices

  • a record of dates where you had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions

If your business is temporarily unable to trade

You must keep evidence if your business has been unable to trade due to coronavirus, such as:

  • a record of dates where you had to close due to government restrictions

  • NHS Test and Trace communications - if you've been instructed to self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home (if you've been abroad and have to self-isolate, this does not count)

  • a letter or email from the NHS asking you to shield

  • test results if you've been diagnosed with coronavirus

  • letters or emails from your child's school

Fourth Self-employment Income Support Scheme grant

The government has confirmed there will be a fourth grant. It is expected to cover February, March and April but full details of eligibility and the value of the grant will not be revealed until the chancellor's Budget speech on 3 March.

Campaigners are pressuring the government to widen the criteria to include people not able to access previous grants. Some commentators have suggested the government will allow people who have submitted a 2019/20 tax return to apply for a grant.

The latest coronavirus small business support

We are keeping you updated on the latest information on how to access the government's coronavirus business support here. You can also find advice and ask a question on Enterprise Nation's coronavirus business advice hub. Follow Enterprise Nation on Twitter too for updates.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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