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Dean Shepherd (14)
14 July 2021

What you need to know about applying for the fifth SEISS grant.

  1. What you need to know
  2. Eligibility criteria
  3. How much can be claimed?
  4. Turnover test
  5. How to make a claim
  6. Where can I get further support?

What you need to know

The fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant can be claimed by individual taxpayers who are either self-employed or who are a member of a partnership.

Claims must be made by the taxpayer and not by an agent on their behalf; although they can seek assistance from an agent in completing their claim.

Provided the eligibility criteria is met, the fifth grant can be claimed even if previous grants were not. Limited companies and trusts are not eligible.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility for the fifth SEISS grant is the same as for the third and fourth SEISS grants in that individual taxpayers must:

  • have submitted their 2019-20 tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • have trading profits that are no more than £50,000 and at least equal to their non-trading income, based on their 2019-20 tax return or an average of relevant tax years between 2016-17 and 2019-20
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and are either:
    • currently trading but are impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand due to coronavirus, or
    • have traded previously but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus (If they’ve been abroad and have to stay in quarantine or self-isolate, this does not count)
  • declare that they have a reasonable belief that there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus.

How much can be claimed?

The fifth grant has been set at 80% of three months’ average trading profits – capped at £7,500 – for those whose turnover has reduced by 30% or more.

Those with a turnover reduction of less than 30% will receive a grant based on 30% of three months’ average trading profits – capped at £2,850.

The turnover test below will determine whether the individual taxpayer will qualify for the higher or lower level of support outlined above.

Turnover test

A comparison of the turnover in the 'pandemic period' must be compared with the turnover in the 'reference period' to determine by what percentage turnover has reduced.

The pandemic period is a 12-month period which must start on a date between 1st and 6th April 2020 (i.e. for years ended 31st March through 5th April 2021). Those who already prepare such accounts on a tax year basis will be able to use the same figure as will appear on their 2020/21 tax return. Those who use a different accounting year end date will need to make a separate calculation of turnover for the pandemic period from their business records. This turnover figure should be for all of the individual taxpayer's businesses, excluding any COVID-19 support payments such as previous SEISS grants, Eat Out to Help Out payments and local authority grants.

The reference period will be the turnover figure reported on the 2019/20 tax return regardless of whether accounts were prepared on a tax year basis or not. If 2019/20 was not a normal year for the business then the 2018/19 figure may be used.

Partners will need to include turnover figures for the partnership as a whole unless they also have other trades, in which case they can use their share of the partnership turnover only.

How to make a claim

The claims portal will open in late July 2021 for the fifth SEISS grant and will close on 30th September 2021. In order to claim, individual taxpayers will need to log in to their Government Gateway account with their User ID and password.

If this is your client's first time claiming a SEISS grant, they may be asked additional questions to prove their identity.

Questions could relate to any of the following:

  • their UK passport
  • information held on their credit file (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
  • their Self Assessment tax return (within the last three years)
  • their tax credit claim
  • their P60
  • one of their three most recent payslips.

Please ensure your client has this information ready when making their claim. Their claim may be delayed if they cannot answer the identity verification questions.

All customers are required to keep appropriate records as evidence of the impact on their business.

Where can I get further support?

The website has further information on Coronavirus business support schemes available  .

HMRC regularly run webinars offering information on the SEISS grants, as well as other government support initiatives, and how they may apply to your clients. Go to help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus   to book online, or to view updated guidance.

For those wishing to delve closer into the legislation, this can be found in the Coronavirus Act 2020 SEISS Extension 5  .

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