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Coronavirus – Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

We’re all struggling with coming out of lockdown, some more than others I suppose. Unfortunately, the travel industry seems to be the hardest hit, and it will no doubt take several years before we see anything like a pre-pandemic holiday industry. At least UK tourism should receive a boost from those not travelling abroad; let’s hope that it continues through September and into October. Like many others, we decided to get a puppy during lockdown, bringing forward that intention now we are working at home, not waiting until retirement arrives! Anyway, that’s a whole different story for another day!

The Government has implemented a number of financial measures to help mitigate the burden for businesses and individuals. In fact, the resultant debt will be with us and our children for many years to come, and the repayment of that debt will be tackled in due course, but not until we’re in a better financial state. Who knows when that will be! That financial support is beginning to wind down, but there’s an opportunity for those who are self-employed, to get the second tranche of the SEISS. I have set out below our advice.

HMRC online services open for second grants to be claimed from 17 August 2020

The SEISS is now closed to new claims for the first grant, however, the scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

How do I make a claim?

As with the first grant, HMRC will contact you if you are eligible. Eligibility will be calculated in the same way as the first grant. You can make a claim for the second grant if you’re eligible, even if you didn’t make a claim for the first grant. Claims can be made from 17 August 2020 and need to be made on or before 19 October 2020.

The claim procedure is similar to that for the first grant. You will need your Government Gateway ID and password. If you don’t have a user ID, you can create one when you make a claim. You will be asked to provide your UK bank details and you will be asked to confirm that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

Please note that you must make the claim yourself. Your tax agent or adviser must not make the Claim, as this will trigger a fraud alert and will cause a significant delay to your claim being processed.

Eligibility

To work out eligibility, HMRC will look at your Self Assessment tax return for the year to 5 April 2019. Your trading profits for tax purposes must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your nontrading income. If you’re not eligible based on this year, HMRC will look at the three tax years to 5 April 2019.

Who can claim?

You can claim if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:

You’re unable to work because you:

  • are shielding
  • are self-isolating
  • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus

You’ve had to scale down, temporarily stop trading or have incurred additional costs because:

  • your supply chain has been interrupted
  • you have fewer or no customers or clients
  • your staff are unable to come to work
  • one or more of your contracts have been cancelled
  • you had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules

Basically, if you’re impacted financially, you can claim. So, whilst you don’t have to provide any evidence for your claim, I suspect that there will be some checks by HMRC in due course, on your self-assessment tax returns in future years, to verify that your trading income has reduced in current period. Download our SEISS helpsheet for full information and guidance.

Unfortunately, claims can’t be made by tax agents or advisers on your behalf. However, we can, of course, check that you’ve received the correct amount and request a review if the amount is incorrect. If you have any queries or would like more information, you can contact me on 01473 833411 or peter.glading@larking-gowen.co.uk.

This article is designed for the information of readers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, information contained in this article may not be comprehensive and recipients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice. “MHA Larking Gowen” is the trading name of Larking Gowen LLP, which is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (LLP number OC419486). Where we use the word partner it refers to a member of Larking Gowen LLP. © MHA Larking Gowen.

Peter Glading

Author: Peter Glading