Martin Lewis grills Rishi Sunak over SEISS timetable
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SEISS, otherwise known as the Self-Employment Income Scheme, has been running since 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic. The grant has offered financial support to individuals who have seen their monetary position damaged within the last year because of reduced trade or closure. In November, the Government announced there would be a fourth grant due to the continued impact of COVID-19.
For a number of months, the details of this fourth grant were not clear, but the Budget provided further clarity.
The fourth SEISS grant is due to be set at 80 percent of three months of average trading profits.
It will be paid out in a single instalment, which is capped at £7,500 for those who are eligible.
However, it is important for individuals to note the eligibility criteria has been slightly altered when it comes to the grant.
The Government has confirmed the fourth grant will now take into account the 2019/20 tax returns.
For this reason, then, it will also be open to individuals who became self-employed in the 2019/20 tax year, a group previously excluded.
But as eligibility for the scheme is now based on a submitted 2019/20 tax return, the self-employed are being urged to bear this in mind.
The Government website explains: “This may affect the amount of the fourth grant which could be higher or lower than previous grants you may have received.”
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HMRC will look at a person’s most recent Self Assessment to determine eligibility, but there are also other criteria to bear in mind.
Firstly, a person’s trading profits must be no more than £50,000 in order to receive SEISS support.
Then, these profits are required to be at least equal to any non-trading income a person may have.
Someone must either be currently trading but impacted due to COVID-19, or previously trading but temporarily unable to do so due to the pandemic.
People must also declare that they continue to trade, but also that they believe there will be a significant reduction in trading due to the varied impacts of COVID-19.
It is not yet clear when the exact claim date for the fourth grant of SEISS will actually be.
However, the Government has urged patience as it processes recently submitted 2019/20 Self Assessment tax returns.
The online claims service is set to open from late April 2021 onwards until May 31, 2021.
Like previous grants, the self-employed can expect to be contacted in due course to receive their specific personal claim date.
The Government says it will issue more guidance about the fourth grant and how to claim it “in due course”.
The fourth grant, however, is not the end of support measures from the Government as intended only a few months ago.
Instead, there will be a fifth and final grant issued to cover the months of May to September.
People will be able to claim this grant from late July if they meet all the eligibility criteria.
The fifth grant is set to be worth different amounts for different people, so it is important to make note of this.
For those with a turnover reduction of 30 percent or more, the fifth grant is set at 80 percent of three months’ average trading profits – capped at £7,500.
However, if a person’s turnover reduction is less than 30 percent, their grant will be impacted accordingly.
These individuals will have a grant of 30 percent of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850.
Like the fourth grant, the Government states further details on the fifth grant will be provided in due course.
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