From today (Monday 4 May), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.
HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.
In order to receive quick confirmation from the eligibility checker, individuals should:
- have their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and their National Insurance Number to hand
- make sure their details are up-to-date in their Government Gateway account
Once the online check is complete, eligible customers will be given a date when they can submit their claim. They will also be encouraged to update their contact details.
Claims service opening shortly
The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. This will help millions of self-employed people, covering a wide range of industries and jobs, whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the coronavirus.
The claims process will be very simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim.
Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and they:
- earn at least half of their income through self-employment
- have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
- traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return – and returns for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 where needed – to determine their eligibility and is contacting customers who may be eligible via email, text message or letter.
Wider government support
This scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where the government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.
Where individuals are ineligible for the scheme, HMRC will direct people to guidance setting out the scheme conditions to help them understand why they are ineligible, and advise on other support available to them such as:
- income tax deferrals
- rental support
- Universal Credit
- access to mortgage holidays
- various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during this time