The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) supports self-employed individuals including members of partnerships whose income has been impacted by COVID-19.

The scheme will provide grants to self-employed individuals/partnerships, worth 80% of their profits, capped at £2,500 a month.

HMRC will use average profits from tax returns in 16/17, 17/18 and 18/19 to calculate the size of the grant.

The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000.

Eligibility

You must meet all of the below criteria:

– Be self-employed or member of a partnership

– Have lost trading profit due to coronavirus

– Filed a tax return for 18/19 as self-employed.  Those who have not yet filed for 18/19 have an additional 4 weeks from 26/3/2020.

– Have traded in 19/20, and intend to continue to trade in tax year 20/21

– Have trading profits of less than £50k and more than half of your total income come from self-employment.  Trading profits will be calculated using one of the following conditions;

  • Trading profits and total income in 18/19
  •  Average trading profits and total income across the past three years

Accessing the Scheme

HMRC will use existing information to check eligibility and invite applications to apply. The grants will then be directly to eligible claimants’ bank account.
Grants are expected to start being paid in June 2020.

HMRC are publishing guidance on the scheme, available here. This guidance will continue to be updated.

Limited Companies

This scheme is currently not applicable for limited companies.

Company owners who take their earnings as employed income up to the tax-free personal allowance and the rest as dividends may be caught between this scheme and the job retention scheme.

We are waiting on clarification of the rules on this which may take a week or so to be communicated and/or be amended.