HMRC have been sending out reminders that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) needs to claimed on or before 29th January 2021.

As with the first and second SEISS grants, the third grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must also be reported on your 2020-21 Self Assessment tax returns (to be submitted by 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2022).

Confirming a significant reduction in trading profits

Before you make a claim for the third grant, you must decide if the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in. This is different to past claims where you were only asked to confirm that Covid-19 has affected your business in some way.

You do not have to consider any other coronavirus scheme support payments that you have already received when deciding whether you reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during 1‌‌‌ ‌November 2020 to 29‌‌‌ ‌January 2021 (period covered by the third grant).

HMRC recently sent a letter to tax-payers who has been identified as potentially requiring extra support. At the time of writing to them, the tax-payers had yet to claim for the third SEISS grant, and HMRC believed they may be eligible, depending on the circumstances of their business. The letter included details of the deadline for claiming the third SEISS grant and the number of a helpline for those requiring additional support.

Details of the extra support that HMRC can provide may also be found at https://www.gov.uk/get-help-hmrc-extra-support

The third SEISS grant and working parents

If you are unable to work because you have additional caring responsibilities due to school closures, and you meet all other conditions, you are eligible to claim, provided you reasonably believe that the impact of taking this time off will significantly reduce your trading profits for the year that you report them in.

Details of the eligibility criteria can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Other types of work and the third SEISS grant

Due to the impacts of coronavirus, some self-employed tax-payers who are usually self-employed are also seeking other forms of work.

If you receive the grant you can:

  1. Continue to work.
  2. Start a new trade or take on other work including voluntary work and duties as a military reservist.

You must also declare that you intend to continue to trade.

How to make a claim

As with previous grants, you need to make the claim through your government gateway account. The steps below should help you:

  1. Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme
  2. After reading through the information (including what you will need to make the claim) scroll down to the green “Start Now” button and click on it.
  3. You will be asked for your UTR and National Insurance number
  4. You will then be given a link to log into your Government Gateway page
  5. Enter your user name and password
  6. You will be sent an access code by your chosen method (which you will have provided when you opened the government gateway page) – usually this is by a text message
  7. Once inside the government gateway you will be able to see your first and second grant (leave these alone is probably best) and a button to start the third claim.
  8. You will be asked to confirm that the business profits will have been significantly reduced by the pandemic
  9. Once confirmed you should be presented with a confirmation of the amount you will receive and a submission reference which you should note down.

The fourth SEISS grant

Information about the fourth SEISS grant will be provided by the Chancellor in his budget on 3‌‌‌ ‌March 2021.