Updated HMRC guidance on the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and portal opening date
HMRC have updated their guidance on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Here, our founding director, Michael Chadwick, outlines the newly announced changes to the package of support for the self-employed and how we can help with your claim.
Sole traders and partnerships must apply for the scheme themselves. However, we can advise and assist with all your queries about this scheme and with any other business issues. We are able to use the HMRC eligibility checker and request a review for those whose claims are denied. Clients may want to send a copy of the calculation to their Chadwick & Company Tax Manager to review if they need any reassurance. We can also assist clients with setting up Government Gateways prior to the deadline to ensure they are ready to claim when the time comes.
Other changes recently announced include confirmation that taxpayers should not make a claim if other official support has already reached the state aid limit. We do not expect this will affect many clients.
Conditions for eligibility
If sole traders and partnerships wish to claim under the scheme, then the following conditions will apply:
- At least half of the claimant’s total income needs to have come from self-employment (as registered on the 2018-19 tax return filed in January 2020).
- Anyone who missed the filing deadline had until the end of April to complete it and still qualify.
- The business must have traded in the tax year 2019/20.
- The scheme is only open to those with trading profits under £50,000 a year.
- The self-employed can continue to work as they receive support.
- The grants will be taxable, and will need to be declared on tax returns by 31 January 2022.
- Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered.
From 4 May 2020, HMRC have been contacting those self-employed individuals it believes are entitled to claim a SEISS grant.
There is also a SEISS application portal which will be available to taxpayers on a staged basis between 13 and 18 May. The portal will be open on varying days for different traders. Your date will be allocated on a random basis by HMRC. It is not first come, first served. This is a feature designed to avoid system overloads.
Taxpayers should log in to their government gateway account to complete the application process. Note that HMRC calculates the grant from its records and at no stage does the taxpayer have to provide any detailed information or calculations about their income. There will also be a telephone-based service for those without internet access, full details are awaited.
HMRC will compute the claim and expects to make payments from 25 May 2020 or within six working days of the application being submitted, whichever is the later.
We are here to help
If you would like to talk to a qualified accountant or tax specialist about these measures, or any other financial matter, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are now operating a ‘virtual office’ with Directors and Senior Managers still available to respond to calls and emails, so we are on hand to offer support and guidance for your business throughout this testing time.
Read more about the Government Self-Employed Income Support Scheme here. You can also email or call us on 0161 370 9600.