HMRC will soon be contacting people about the Fourth SEISS grant. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September with a fourth and fifth grant.
Here’s a bit of information on what to expect.
Fourth SEISS grant – Eligibility and calculation
Much of the eligibility criteria remains unchanged from the third grant, with notable exceptions that an individual must have:
- submitted their 2019-20 tax return by 2 March 2021
- trading profits that are at least nil (not a trading loss), based on their 2019-20 tax return, or an average of tax years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20
- 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 tax years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20
- been trading in the tax years 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Full eligibility criteria can be found on GOV.UK.
The reasonable belief declaration which has been in effect for the second and third SEISS grants remains in effect. There is no turnover test for the fourth SEISS grant.
Claiming the fourth SEISS grant
HMRC will contact potentially eligible customers from mid-April with a personal claim date. These customers can claim at any time from their personal claim date until the claims service closes on 31 May.
As with previous grants, Accountants and agents can offer clients help and advice, but cannot make a claim on their behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert and result in significant delays to receiving payment.
Frequently asked questions about the Fourth SEISS grant
Have the eligibility criteria changed?
The eligibility criteria will now take into account 2019-20 returns submitted by 2 March 2021. This may mean that some no longer meet the eligibility criteria, for example, if average trading profits were over £50,000 for both 2019-20 and on average across 2016-17 to 2019-20.
Eligibility criteria are initially assessed against the 2019-20 return. If the eligibility criteria (trading profits at least equal to non-trading income and not exceeding £50,000 in 2019-20) aren’t met, HMRC look at the average of the four tax years (where available) and consider all eligibility criteria against this average.
Will there be an eligibility checker?
HMRC are providing an online eligibility checker from mid-April. The checker will confirm eligibility, but it will not give a specific reason if someone is ineligible (the customer will need to sign in to their Government Gateway account to find the reason, as this is personal information).
I didn’t submit my 2019-20 tax return by 2 March 2021, but I claimed earlier SEISS grants. Can I claim the fourth grant?
If someone did not submit their 2019-20 Self Assessment tax return by 2 March 2021, they will not be eligible for the fourth SEISS grant.
I didn’t trade in one or more of the tax years 2016-17 to 2019-20 – how will my grant be calculated?
The fourth SEISS grant will first assess individuals’ eligibility on the basis of their 2019-20 returns, and if ineligible on the basis of those returns, the average of relevant years between 2016-17 and 2019-20. For the purposes of calculating the average of relevant years; if there is a gap in returns (e.g. an individual filed in 2016-17, 2018-19 and 2019-20), HMRC would only take into account the consecutive years after the gap in filing (in this example, 2018-19 and 2019-20).
I amended my 2019-20 tax return – will the amended figures be used to calculate my fourth SEISS grant?
Amended 2019-20 returns will be taken into account for SEISS, if they were received by 2 March 2021.
Should SEISS grants be included in the annual allowance calculation for private pensions?
Yes – the SEISS grant should be included in the calculation of relevant UK earnings when working out your annual allowance.
What support is there for new parents/those who took parental leave in 2019-20?
Self-employed parents who did not submit a tax return for 2019-20, or whose trading profits in 2019-20 were less than their other income and were therefore ineligible for the SEISS, because they were pregnant or taking time out of their trade to care for their new-born or newly adopted child, may still be eligible for the SEISS.
This does not affect the grant calculation for those who submitted a 2019-20 return and are already eligible.
Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to email@example.com and texts to 60599.
Access the National Cyber Security Centre’s new guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cyber crime by searching ‘Cyber Aware’ on GOV.UK.
Help and support with the Fourth SEISS grant
If you need help with the Fourth SEISS grant or any aspect of your Self Assessment Tax contact me now.