Budget: all the information on SEISS grants 4 and 5

Although SEISS was originally scheduled to end in April, we’ve got good news for the self-employed: there are more grants to come. Here’s everything we know about the next SEISS grant, including who can apply and what you can claim. [top_pitch] What is the SEISS grant? The Self-Employment Income Support […]

Although SEISS was originally scheduled to end in April, we’ve got good news for the self-employed: there are more grants to come. Here’s everything we know about the next SEISS grant, including who can apply and what you can claim.

[top_pitch]

What is the SEISS grant?

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) helps self-employed people who have lost income due to the pandemic.

Although it’s a grant, it’s still taxable, which means you could pay income tax on whatever support you receive.

Who can apply for grant number four?

More people can claim SEISS this time around. 

First, you must have traded in tax years 2019 to 2020, and 2020 to 2021. Then, you must show you’ve been affected financially by the pandemic. So, maybe you’re trading at a reduced capacity, or you can’t trade at all due to restrictions. 

If you tick these boxes, you must also show that:

  • You intend to keep trading 
  • It’s reasonable to assume your turnover will be affected by coronavirus

What can I claim?

You can claim up to 80% of three months’ average trading profits. It’s capped at £7,500, though, so even if your profits are higher, you won’t get more than this.

[middle_pitch]

When can I apply?

Applications for the fourth SEISS grant open sometime in late April.

If you’re eligible, you’ll receive an email from HMRC telling you when you can claim. The claims portal for the fourth grant will close in late May 2021. 

To apply, you’ll need to show you’ve been adversely affected financially by Covid-19. So, keep hold of evidence like:

If you can’t prove you’ve been affected, you might not get the grant. 

Will there be a fifth grant?

Yes, and it will cover the period between May and September 2021. However, it’ll be a little different from the other SEISS payments. 

How much you receive will depend on how much turnover you’ve lost in the tax year between April 2020 and April 2021.  

  • If your turnover reduction is less than 30%, you’ll receive 30% of three months’ average trading profits, but it’s capped at £2,850. 
  • If you’ve lost more than 30% in turnover, you can get 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500.  

Applications will open from late July. Remember to keep proof to show you’ve been affected financially by the pandemic or you may not qualify.

What if I’m not eligible for either SEISS scheme?

If you can’t claim the fourth or fifth SEISS grants, don’t worry. You have a few options:

  • Check whether you’re eligible for benefits like Universal Credit. 
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme replaces other schemes like the Bounce Back Loan, and it opens on 6 April 2021. Check your eligibility. 
  • If you’re a small business, take a look at the Restart Grant to see if you’re eligible. 

Takeaway

The fourth and fifth SEISS grants could provide you with much needed financial support (and peace of mind) as we move beyond the pandemic. However, if you’re struggling with debt or financial concerns in the meantime, you can always reach out to Citizens Advice for help. 

Here’s one final thing to bear in mind: if you’re already on Universal Credit, your grant could reduce your benefits payments. So, give some thought to how this might affect you before you apply. 

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