Self-employed taxpayers can now apply for the fifth-and-final grant available through the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS).
Everyone who is eligible for the last SEISS grant should have received a personal start date from HMRC before the end of last month.
These give the self-employed a date from which they can apply for the support. The applications portal opened on Thursday 29 July 2021.
HMRC has warned it won't process claims submitted before an individual's personal start date.
This staggered start aims to give the tax authority enough time to assess each claim before the window closes for good on 30 September 2021.
Who is eligible?
Those who qualify for the final SEISS grant need to be either a self-employed individual or a member of a business partnership.
They must have traded in the 2019/20 tax year and filed a 2019/20 tax return via self-assessment on or before 2 March 2021.
They also should have traded in the 2020/21 tax year and have trading profits of £50,000 or less for both of the tax years in question.
When those eligible make a claim for the fifth SEISS grant, they need to:
- apply on or after their personal start date
- tell HMRC that they intend to carry on trading in 2021/22
- reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits between 1 May and 30 September 2021 due to the pandemic.
HMRC has already checked who's eligible for the final SEISS grant, prior to providing individuals with their personal start dates.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said in his Spring Budget earlier this year that the fifth round of grants will "support those most affected by the pandemic".
There are two levels of grant available. Those whose turnover fell by 30% or more will continue to receive the full 80% grant of up to £7,500.
Those whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a reduced 30% grant of up to £2,850.
The turnover figure is gross sales for all concurrent trades, not profit, and should exclude all COVID-related grants received.
HMRC uses these figures to determine which level of grant the taxpayer qualifies for (30% or 80% of three months' average monthly profits).
Speak to us for clarity on your business's turnover, but bear in mind that we cannot complete the fifth SEISS application on your behalf.
Tax & National Insurance
Just like the previous four grants, this grant is also subject to income tax and self-employed National Insurance contributions.
A record of this grant should be kept as it needs to be reported in a 2021/22 tax return via self-assessment on or before midnight 31 January 2023.
The grant also counts towards the £40,000 annual allowance towards pension contributions in 2021/22.
SEISS costs so far
As of 6 June 2021, a total of 9.1 million claims worth more than £25.24 billion had been made since the first grant opened in May 2020.
Across the four previous SEISS grants, around 2.9m self-employed taxpayers had made claims; 3.4m are eligible for the final grant.
The Government has paid out an average of £8,800 per individual claim since the start of the SEISS.
Speak to us about the turnover test.