COVID-19 Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

13 August 2021

Applications have now opened for the fifth grant of the COVID-19 Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).


The SEISS is designed to help self-employed individuals or members of a partnership who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.


HMRC have contacted every self-employed taxpayer who they believe may be eligible to apply for the fifth and last SEISS grant, giving them a personal start date from when they can apply.


The application portal will remain open until 30 September 2021, however HMRC aim to check claims and pay them into the designated bank account within 6 working days.


Who is eligible to claim the SEISS grant?

In order to be eligible to claim, you must meet all criteria in stages 1, 2 and 3 outlined below:


Stage 1 : Your trading status and when you have traded

You must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

You must also have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020
  • 2020 to 2021

You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or trust.


Stage 2: Tax returns and trading profits 

  • You must have submitted your 2019/20 tax return on or before 2 March 2021.
  • You must have trading profits of no more than £50,000.
  • Your trading profits must be at least equal your non-trading income*.


*Non-trading income is any money that you make outside of your business. For example, if you have a part-time job or pension.

If you’re not eligible based on the trading profit in your 2019/20 tax return, HMRC will look back at previous years. HMRC will have already contacted you if you’re eligible for the grant based on your tax returns.


Stage 3: Deciding if you can claim

When you make a claim you must tell HMRC that you:

  • Intend to keep trading in 2021 to 2022
  • Reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of COVID-19 between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.



Click here for more information on eligibility and to find out how much you can claim.


Getting ready to claim:

The fifth grant is different from previous grants. In most cases, you’ll need to tell HMRC about your business turnover so they can work out your grants amount.


In order to make a claim, you’ll need to have 2 different turnover figures. You’ll need to work out your turnover for:

  • April 2020 – April 2021
  • Either 2019/20 or 2018/19.

HMRC will compare these figures to work out how much you’ll get.


You will also need your:

  • Self-Assessment UTR number
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • UK bank details including account number, sort code, name and address linked to the account.


HMRC will not ask you for any turnover figures if you began trading in 2019/20 and did not trade in the following tax years:

  • 2018/19
  • 2017/18
  • 2016/17


How much can I get?

If you need to tell HMRC about your turnover

There are 2 levels of grant available. HMRC will work out your grant amount based on how much your turnover is down by after they’ve compared your 2 turnover figures.

If your turnover is down by 30% or more, you’ll get 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

If your turnover is down by less than 30%, you can still get 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,850.


If you do NOT need to tell HMRC about your turnover figures

You’ll get 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.


How to claim?

You should make your claim on or after your personal claim date. Claims can be made on the HMRC website here. All claims will be checked by HMRC who aim to pay all claims within 6 working days.


Claims must be completed by the individual and cannot be completed by an agent.


For more information on eligibility requirements for the SEISS or guidance on how to apply, please do not hesitate to contact us.