The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a tough time for many self-employed tradespeople, but luckily the UK Government has stepped in to provide some help. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, also known as SEISS, has been providing self-employed people with financial help throughout the pandemic. It is currently in its fourth incarnation and Rishi Sunak has announced that there will be a fifth and final grant later in 2021. So, if you have not yet claimed a SEISS grant or you want to claim another, here is what you need to know.
Am I eligible for a SEISS grant?
Self-employed individuals, sole traders and members of partnerships are able to apply for a SEISS grant. To be eligible you need to have been trading in both the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 tax years. Additionally, to claim the fourth SEISS grant, you must be currently trading and be able to show that your business has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021. If you are unable to currently trade because of the pandemic, you can still get the grant as long as your intention is to continue with the business once you are able to do so. You can claim the fourth grant regardless of whether or not you have claimed the first three.
How are SEISS grants calculated?
The grant is calculated at 80 per cent of your average profit over three months of normal trading. This is worked out by using the past four years’ tax returns. The grants are capped at £7,500 and are paid in a lump sum.
Is there any interest on SEISS grants?
SEISS grants are not a loan and are not repayable, so you will not rack up any interest that makes them unaffordable. In essence, they are a lifeline for self-employed people who are struggling during the pandemic, ensuring that you can keep your business afloat if your profits are not covering your costs due to COVID-19.
Is it possible to claim a SEISS grant and Universal Credit?
If you are already claiming Universal Credit due to an inability to currently trade, you can apply for a SEISS grant. However, the grant can impact future UC payments, reducing the amount of UC that you receive.
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