The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was introduced earlier this year by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and the scheme was intended to mirror the Government’s support for the employed under the furlough scheme. Applications have now closed for the first and second grants under the scheme, but it was announced in September the scheme will now be extended to cover the six months between November 2020 and April 2021. Applications for the third grant will open shortly, as HMRC have now set a date for the online service to open later this year.
The third SEISS grant, or the first under the scheme’s extension, will cover November 2020 to January 2021, while the fourth grant will cover February to April 2021.
When the extension was announced in September, the third grant was due to be worth 20 percent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £1,875.
This percentage was then revised and to be worth 40 percent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £3,750 in total for three months.
But due to the national lockdown, the grant has been increased once again.
The portion of the grant for November will cover 80 percent of profits, meaning the November to January payment will be worth 55 percent of profits in total, capped at a maximum of £5,160 in total.
Prior to the national lockdown announcement, Kevin Humphreys, Tax and Forensic Investigations Consultant from Integrated Dispute Resolution, told Express.co.uk: “Almost a month to the day that Rishi Sunak’s Self-Employment Income Scheme (SEISS) extension received a lukewarm welcome for it’s steep dip in grant entitlement, the Treasury agreed to double the cap from £1,875 to £3,750 as part of an urgent revisit of their Winter Economy Plan… the Chancellor’s change of heart to increase the coverage from 20 percent of average monthly profits to 40 percent will no doubt provide some much needed comfort.
“That said, it still represents a three-fold reduction of 30 percent to the 10 percent drop that was seen between Claim 1 and Claim 2.
“For anyone seeking to make a third claim, it is important to stress that the qualifying criteria has changed significantly from that laid down for the first two.”
The SEISS criteria previously determined your business must have been “adversely affected” in order to claim the grant.
But the criteria has changed for the extended SEISS grants, and now states a business must have been “impacted by reduced demand” to claim.
Mr Humphreys explained: “The new condition requiring the business to be ‘impacted by reduced demand’ differs from the previous SEISS requirement for the trade to be ‘adversely affected’ by COVID-19.
“This new condition is likely to be more restrictive. In particular, the reference to ‘reduced demand’ indicates that the self-employed may have to focus purely on the level of trade in their business and not other factors such as staff absence or increased expenses (which could previously be taken into account when deciding whether a business was ‘adversely affected’).”
When can you claim the third grant for the self-employed?
HMRC have now confirmed when the third grant will be available to claim.
The online service for the next grant will be available from November 30, 2020, and has been brought forward from the original December 14 date due to the lockdown.
Details on claiming the scheme’s third grant are expected in due course.