Fifth SEISS Grant

 

The fifth SEISS grant for Self-employed taxpayers is now open for applications , but you may need to provide two different turnover figures from your business as part of your application.

The portal to apply for the fifth self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) grant opened on 29 July, but not everyone can apply at once.

HMRC has contacted every self-employed taxpayer (by email or letter) who it believes may be eligible to apply for the fifth and last SEISS grant, giving them a personal start date from which they can apply. Taxpayers should not attempt to apply before their personal start date as their claim will not be processed.

This staggered start is to prevent every eligible taxpayer applying on the same day and crashing the system, and to give HMRC time to process all the grant payments due.

Taxpayers don’t have to apply for the Fifth SEISS grant on the first possible day, as the portal will remain open until 30 September 2021, but the sooner they apply, the quicker the money will arrive.

 

Who is eligible for The fifth SEISS grant?

HMRC has checked basic eligibility of taxpayers in advance of opening the claims portal, such as whether the 2019/20 tax return was submitted by 2 March 2021.

You, the taxpayer must make a declaration in the application that you intend to keep trading in 2021/22. Also, that your trade profits will suffer a ‘significant reduction’ due to the impact of covid-19 in the period between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.

There is no definition of “significant reduction” and HMRC is not planning to provide one.   However, you are only required to look forward to estimate your profits in the period ending 30 September 2021. You are not required to re-examine your claim with hindsight after the event.

As long as you keep all evidence of why you believed profits have reduced (ignoring any covid-related grants received), you will be able to show that your reasonable belief at the time of application was that profits would be reduced.

If you were eligible for the SEISS-4 grant (or earlier grants), but failed to apply on time you can still apply for the SEISS-5 grant, if you meet the other conditions.

 

Turnover test

To complete The fifth SEISS grant application the you may need to submit two different turnover figures, as outlined on 7 July. Since publishing that article, HMRC has improved its guidance and tweaked the law set out in the HMRC Direction slightly in respect of partnerships.

New traders, who started trading in 2019/20 and didn’t have a (different) self-employed trade in any of the years 2016/17 to 2018/19, don’t need to provide a turnover figure at all, as HMRC already has a figure for 2019/20 from their tax return. These new traders will get the 80% level of the grant.

Ask your accountant or Robinsons to find out the required turnover figures

 

Before you claim the fifth SEISS grant

You must:

  1. Work out your April 2020 to April 2021 turnover.
  2. Find your turnover from either 2019 to 2020 or 2018 to 2019 to use as a reference year.

You’ll need to have both figures ready when you make your claim.

How to work out your April 2020 to April 2021 turnover

You need to work out your turnover for a 12-month period, starting on any date from 1 to 6 April 2020.

You can use one of the following periods:

  • 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
  • 2 April 2020 to 1 April 2021
  • 3 April 2020 to 2 April 2021
  • 4 April 2020 to 3 April 2021
  • 5 April 2020 to 4 April 2021
  • 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021

You should check that your figure is accurate. HMRC will be able to check your figures after you submit your tax return for this period.

Your figure must include the turnover from all of your businesses.

Where to find your turnover figures

You can:

  • refer to your 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return if you’ve completed it
  • check your accounting software (if you use any)
  • go through your bookkeeping or spreadsheet records that cover your self-employment invoices and payments received
  • check the bank account you use for your business to account for money coming in from customers
  • ask your accountant or tax adviser (if you have one)

What not to include

Anything reported as any other income on your tax return. You should also not include any coronavirus (COVID-19) support payments, for example:

  • previous SEISS grants
  • Eat Out to Help Out payments
  • local authority or devolved administration grants

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