COVID-19 – Fourth SEISS grant service now open

Shaun Davison

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have opened their online service, allowing eligible self-employed traders to apply for a fourth grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The fourth grant, which includes up to 600,000 newly self-employed taxpayers, can be applied for online on HMRC’s website.

In order to make a claim, you will need to log onto HMRC’s online service using your Government Gateway credentials. HMRC have advised taxpayers to have the following information to hand before making the claim:

  • National Insurance number
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • bank account number and sort code.

The grant covers the period 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021.

Taxpayers will need to make an honest assessment that there has been a significant reduction in trading profits during this period, due to reduced demand or their inability to trade, and to keep appropriate records as evidence.

HMRC have produced examples of what qualifies as reduced activity, capacity or demand, or unable to trade. Where additional costs have been incurred by the businesses, for example buying PPE, and this is the only factor, this would not be sufficient to meet the eligibility criteria on its own account.

HMRC have not provided a definition of “significant” so you will need to decide, based on your wider business circumstances, whether there is a significant reduction in your trading profits.

The grant will be calculated based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single payment and capped at £7,500 in total.

As with the previous SEISS support, the grants are taxable and the fourth grant will need to be included on your 2021/22 tax return.

It is recommended that applicants save a copy of the grant calculation and check this to confirm the level of the grant is in order. Any amendments to the 2019/20 tax return made after 2 March 2021 will not be taken into account by HMRC, however, could lead to recipients requiring to repay part or all of the claim in the future.

Applications for the fourth grant will close on 31 May 2021.

Further details of the eligibility conditions and how the grant is calculated can be found on our website.

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