Coronavirus: Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

News article

This guidance was withdrawn on 1 October 2021.

Claims for the fifth SEISS grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim was 30 September 2021.

You can:

If you received a grant payment, you must report this on your tax return. Find out how to report SEISS grants.

Claim the fifth grant if you think that your business profit will be impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.

You’ll need to confirm that you meet other eligibility criteria when you make your claim. 

You should make your claim on or after the personal claim date HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has given you.

Who can claim

Find out if you’re able to claim for a SEISS grant by checking that you meet all criteria in stages 1, 2 and 3.

Stage 1: Your trading status and when you must have traded
You must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

You must also have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020
  • 2020 to 2021

You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

Stage 2: Tax returns and trading profits
You must have:

  • submitted your 2019 to 2020 tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • trading profits of no more than £50,000
  • trading profits at least equal to your non-trading income

Non-trading income is any money that you make outside of your business. For example, if you also have a part-time job or pension.

If you’re not eligible based on the trading profits in your 2019 to 2020 return, HMRC will look back at previous years.

HMRC will  already have contacted you if you’re eligible for the grant based on your tax returns. 

Find out more about how HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income.

Stage 3: Deciding if you can claim
When you make your claim you must tell HMRC that you:

  • intend to keep trading in 2021 to 2022
  • reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of COVID-19 between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021

If you think your business has been impacted by COVID-19, find out how to decide if you can make a claim.

How different circumstances affect the scheme
There are some circumstances that you should take into account, such as:

  • your return is late, amended or under enquiry
  • you’re a member of a partnership
  • you had a new child
  • you have loans covered by the loan charge provisions
  • you claim averaging relief
  • you’re a military reservist
  • you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis

If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

Find out more information on how your circumstances affect your eligibility.

Get ready to claim

The fifth grant is different from previous grants. In most cases, when making your claim you’ll need to tell HMRC about your business turnover so they can work out your grant amount.

Turnover includes the takings, fees, sales or money earned or received by your business.

To make your claim, you’ll need to have 2 different turnover figures. You’ll need to work out your turnover for:

  • April 2020 to April 2021
  • either 2019 to 2020 or 2018 to 2019

HMRC will compare these figures to work out how much you’ll get.

When you do not need turnover figures to claim
HMRC will not ask you for any turnover figures if you started trading in 2019 to 2020 and did not trade in all of the following tax years:

  • 2018 to 2019
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2016 to 2017

How much you’ll get

If you need to tell HMRC about your turnover
There are 2 levels of grant. HMRC will work out your grant amount based on how much your turnover is down by after they've compared your 2 turnover figures.

How much your turnover is down by What you’ll get  Maximum grant amount
30% or more 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits £7,500
less than 30% 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits £2,850

This is an example of how HMRC will work out your grant if your average trading profits were £42,000 over the last 4 tax years.

  1. Start with your average trading profit (£42,000).
  2. Divide by 12 = £3,500.
  3. Multiply by 3 = £10,500.

If you’re eligible for the higher grant:

  1. Work out 80% of £10,500 = £8,400.
  2. You’ll get the maximum grant of £7,500.

If you’re eligible for the lower grant:

  1. Work out 30% of £10,500 = £3,150.
  2. You’ll get the maximum grant of £2,850.

If you do not need turnover figures to claim
You’ll get 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits. The maximum grant amount is £7,500.

Find out more information on how HMRC work out your trading profits.

How to make a claim

Claims for the fifth grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim was 30 September 2021.

You can check a list of genuine HMRC contacts if you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC as this may be a scam.

How the grant is treated
The grant is subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance Contributions. It must be reported on your 2021 to 2022 Self Assessment tax return.

The grant also counts towards your annual allowance for pension contributions. SEISS grants are not counted as ‘access to public funds’ and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

Other help you can get

Get other financial support
You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but even if the claim is not approved it will affect any tax credits you claim and may affect other benefits. So you should:

If you make a claim for Universal Credit the grant may affect the amount you get, but will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.

You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the COVID-19 support schemes.

Find COVID-19 financial support for your business.

Guidance for previous grants
You can read guidance for previous SEISS grants on The National Archives.

Contacting HMRC
HMRC is receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

You can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.

First published: 4 May 2020