On what we and many others are calling Lockdown#2 was announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday 1st November and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was immediately changed and made more generous.
The SEISS provides two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021 with increased benefits for the first grant period.
"Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £5,160 in total.
The Government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme.
The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions." Gov.uk
On 26th March 2020, Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced "world-leading Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support the UK’s self-employed affected by the Coronavirus outbreak."
On 29th May 2020, the SEISS was extended by the Chancellor in line with other changes that he also made to the Coronavirus Job Rentention Scheme. Under the extension, those eligible can claim a second and final grant. The grant will be worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
The summary details are as follows and need to be read in the light of the changes announced on 29th May:
Further details are published on the FAQs Business Support website, which includes a link to Government Guidance about the package of measures announced at Budget 2020 to support public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19.
To search for the types of support that are currently available for self-employed use the Gov.uk Covid-19 support finder hub.
Check how the HMRC will assess applications for self-employed income support in working out trading profits and non-trading income.
Find out how different circumstances can affect eligibility to the scheme, or amount of grant.
The taxable grant will be based on average trading profits over the 3 tax years:
HMRC will work out the average trading profits by adding together total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then divide by 3.
The grant will be 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500. The grant amount HMRC works out will be paid directly into a bank account, in one instalment.
Find out how HMRC will work out average trading profits including for those who have not traded for all 3 years.
Check how to make an application for the grant - applications goes live on 13th May 2020.
The Government says that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme "..brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, announced by the Chancellor last week, where the Government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak."
The Chancellor, the Governor of the Bank of England, and the CEO of the FCA wrote jointly on 25th March to the CEOs of the UK Banks on the subject of COVID-19 and bank lending, saying that the priority for "..banks, building societies, government and the financial authorities- should now be to taje all action necessary to ensure that the benefits of the [Government's support measures]..are passed through to businesses and consumers."
The Chancellor, the Governor of the Bank of England, and the CEO of the FCA wrote jointly on 25th March to the CEOs of the UK Banks on the subject of COVID-19 and bank lending, saying that the priority for "..banks, building societies, government and the financial authorities- should now be to take all action necessary to ensure that the benefits of the [Government's support measures]..are passed through to businesses and consumers."
For more information on eligibility see the CBIs website guidance.
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