If you’re self-employed you need to act now or miss out

The clock is ticking on a Covid-19 Government grant to help the self-employed, says Paul Lewis

Ezra Bailey

A million eligible self-employed people have not yet claimed a grant of up to £7,500 from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. They must act now or lose
it. Claims can only be made up to midnight on Monday 13 July.

Advertisement

SEISS is paid to people who are self-employed and have seen their earnings affected by the Covid-19 crisis.  All they need to do to qualify is show they were self-employed in 2018/19 and filed their tax return for that year by the extended date of 23 April this year. The taxable grant covers 80 per cent of three months’ average profits with a maximum payment of £7,500. The average paid is £2,900.

To get the grant, you have to pass two financial tests.

  • Your annual profits must not exceed £50,000 a year.
  • At least half your taxable income must come from self-employment.

If you met those conditions in 2018/19, then you have passed the tests. If you don’t, then you can use your average profits for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19. If you were not self-employed in 2016/17, then you use average profits for 2017/18 and 2018/19. People who took a break in 2018/19 because of a new baby or adoption may be able to count earlier years to qualify and for the assessment of the grant. You must also have been self-employed in 2019/20 and continue to be self-employed in 2020/21. Neither of those years is counted in the financial tests.

The Government says around one million of the 3.4 million eligible have still not claimed a grant.  People may have baulked at declaring that their business has been
“adversely affected” by the coronavirus pandemic. Many seem afraid that if their business improves they will have to repay the grant. But if you give accurate information when you claim, HMRC will not take the grant away.   A second payment can be claimed in August.

To check if you are eligible, go to gov.uk and search “SEISS checker”.  If it says you are not eligible, ask for reasons. When they arrive, you can ask for those reasons to be checked.

Paul Lewis presents Money Box on R4

Advertisement