HMRC Support Finder
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have issued an online tool which can be used to help you find out what support may be available to you and your business during the Covid-19 crisis. The tool can be found at:
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Update
Hopefully many of you that are eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) have been contacted by HMRC by now. If you have not been contacted and you think you may be eligible it is possible to check on the following website by entering your UTR (unique tax reference) and national insurance number:
Who is eligible?
A self-employed individual and member of a partnership are eligible if the conditions are met:
- you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
- you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
- you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
- your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income (this test may be subject to a three year average depending on when the trade commenced)
- you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
Additional guidance has been issued to help identify if you and your trade has been adversely affected by coronavirus (the last condition above). This could be evident if you are unable to work because you:
- are shielding
- are self-isolating
- are on sick leave because of coronavirus
- have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
Or you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:
- your supply chain has been interrupted
- you have fewer or no customers or clients
- your staff are unable to come in to work
It is recommended that you record how you have been adversely affected by coronavirus so that if HMRC were to investigate in the future you can prove you meet this criterion.
It is worth noting, if you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work.
Who will not qualify for SEISS?
- Trusts operating a trade
- Individuals who started trading in 2019/20
- Furnished holiday lettings
- Individuals who do not derive more than 50% of their income from self employment
Application and calculation of the grant
The scheme is due to open on 13th May 2020, eligible individuals are being allocated a window for their claim between 13th – 18th May by HMRC on a random basis. This is being done to ensure the new system can cope with demand. As of yet, there has been no indication that this scheme will close after this window, however we recommend you complete the check above to identify your allocated claim window and try to complete during this time if at all possible.
Please note, the HMRC scheme is not accessible by us as your agent, this will mean the grants will need to be applied for by yourselves. This was the route chosen by HMRC to ensure that the system was complete, and to enable funds to be issued as soon as possible.
If you are in a partnership, each individual partner should complete their own claim and consider their eligibility individually.
The claim process should be straightforward, HMRC are requesting basic details. This will include the bank account you wish for the payment to made into. The calculation of the grant will be completed by HMRC using the information submitted on tax returns. Once you have completed the application you should be given an instant response and claim calculation. We strongly recommend you print this for your records. We have not received any further guidance that this information will be saved anywhere or can be retrieved, so if you can save/print for your files this can then be checked afterwards if you believe something may be incorrect. As this grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance it will also need to be kept with your accounting records.
Once you have submitted your claim, you should receive the grant income in your nominated bank account within 6 working days.
This doesn’t apply for many people, but if you are considered digitally excluded, it is possible to apply over the phone however it is expected that the phone lines could be busy.
If you do not have a personal tax account set up, once you have completed the eligibility checker above, you can then continue through this process and set one up. In order to prove your identity, you will need either your driving licence, passport or proof of some financial details HMRC hold.
Please watch out for phishing emails and any links included on these with respect to Covid-19 support as there has been an increase in spam emails prompting for bank details to get financial help.