Coronavirus Financial Support for the Self-Employed has been extended

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has just announced that financial support for the self-employed will continue throughout the winter by way of extending the existing Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the scheme, self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must meet the following criteria:

  • Are currently eligible for the SEISS, which means those with average annual profits of £50,000 or less in the three years ended 5 April 2019. However, there is no need to have actually claimed previous SEISS grants;
  • Are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade;
  • Are impacted by reduced demand due to COVID-19 in the qualifying period between 1 November and the date of claim.

What level of support is to be made available?

The extended SEISS will provide two grants and will last for six months from November 2020 to April 2021.

Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period, but it is not yet clear when these payments will actually be made.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January and will be equivalent to 20% of average monthly trading profits for the years mentioned above.  The grant is to be paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, capped at £1,875 in total.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April and the Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

As with all grants made under the SEISS so far, these grants will be subject to income tax and national insurance.

How and when to claim?

HMRC will provide full details on how to claim in due course but, like earlier SEISS grant applications, it seems likely that there will be an invitation process initiated by HMRC.

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