SEISS warning: Deadline for claims falls next week – act now before higher grants are gone

SEISS (the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) can provide eligible claimants with a taxable grant to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Under the current rules, a claimant could receive a grant worth 80 percent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment.

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The grant itself will be capped at £7,500 in total.

This figure is important to note because while the scheme has been extended recently, it will soon provide less generous support overall.

If a claimant is still eligible, they’ll be able to claim a second and final grant in August.

This final grant will cover 70 percent of average trading profits, with the cap being reduced to £6,570.

It’s possible that some self-employed workers may not have needed a grant at all when the scheme was launched but may do now as their business eventually took a hit.

If this is the case, they’ll need to act fast as the deadline for applying for the first wave of grants falls next week.

Claims for a first grant must be made on or before July 13, which is a mere week away.

In order to be eligible for a grant, a person must have hit certain criteria set by the state.

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To receive a grant, a person must be self-employed or a member of a partnership and have the following apply:

  • They traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted a Self-Assessment tax return on or before April 23 2020 for that year
  • They traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • They intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • They carry a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus

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That last point can be viewed as being quite broad in nature but the government provides some examples of what it could include.

A business could have been adversely affected by coronavirus if the person running it has had to shield or self-isolate due to the disease.

Also, operationally, a business could also have been affected if supply chains had been interrupted or if customer numbers dropped.

A grant cannot be claimed if the applicant is operating a trade through a trust or is registered as a limited company.

Even when a person is eligible for the grant, they need to be careful when putting the claim through.

The self-employed individual needs to make the claim themselves as if they use a tax agent or advisor, it could trigger a fraud alert.

Also, the government warns that if a person receives texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC offering financial or tax advice it will be a scam.

This also applies to any dubious characters offering help with a second grant as the online service for second claims is not yet available.

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