Coronavirus: Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
This guidance was withdrawn on 1 October 2021.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.
- find out what coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available for businesses
- check how much you were paid for previous grants
If you received a grant payment, you must report this on your tax return. Find out how to report SEISS grants.
You must make your claim on or before 30 September 2021.
Before you claim, you must make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria.
What you'll need to make your claim
The fifth grant is different. In most cases, you’ll need to provide 2 turnover figures when you make your claim. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will use these to work out how much you’ll get.
You do not need 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
When you claim you'll also need your:
- Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
- National Insurance number
- Government Gateway user ID and password
- UK bank details including account number, sort code, name on the account and address linked to the account
Only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted. You may also need to answer questions about your passport, driving licence or information held on your credit file.
If you do not have some of those things
If you cannot remember your Government Gateway ID or password, you can attempt to recover them. You can do this when making your claim. You may need to answer questions about your passport, driving licence or information held on your credit file.
If you do not have a Government Gateway ID or password, you can create one when making your claim.
How to claim
Claims for the fifth grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim was 30 September 2021.
You must make the claim yourself. Do not ask a tax agent or adviser to claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, which will delay your payment.
HMRC will check claims. HMRC will take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments for claims found to be dishonest or inaccurate. If you know you’re not eligible for the grant and do not tell HMRC, you may also have to pay a penalty.
If an amendment to your tax return on or after the 3 March 2021 lowers the grant amount you’re eligible for, you’ll need to tell us within 90 days. You may need to pay back some or all of the grant.
Return to your claim
If you need to return to your claim, you can:
- check the status of your payment
- update your bank details if we have asked you to
- check how much you got for previous grants
- check to see if you think the grant amount is too low
After you've claimed
HMRC will check your claim and pay your grant into your bank account within 6 working days. HMRC will send an email when your payment is on its way.
Do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made your claim and you have not received your payment in that time.
If your business recovers after you've claimed, your eligibility will not be affected as this is based on your reasonable belief that your trading profits would have been significantly reduced at the time you made your claim. You must keep evidence to support this.
You need to tell HMRC if you:
- made a claim in error as you were not eligible for a grant
- made a mistake reporting your turnover in your claim which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received
- later realise you should have reported a different turnover figure in your claim which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received
- amended any of your tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 which means you’re no longer eligible or are entitled to a lower grant than you received
- would like to make a voluntary repayment
Find out how to tell HMRC and pay back some or all of the grant back.
Records you need to keep
You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including the:
- amount claimed
- grant claim reference
If you're currently trading but have reduced demand
You must keep any evidence that your business has had reduced activity, capacity or demand due to COVID-19 at the time you made your claim, such as:
- business accounts showing reduction in activity compared to previous years
- records of reduced or cancelled contracts or appointments
- a record of dates where you had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions
If your business is temporarily unable to trade
You must keep evidence if your business has been unable to trade due to COVID-19, such as:
- a record of dates where you had to close due to government restrictions
- NHS testing and tracing communications - if you’ve been instructed to self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home
- a letter or email from the NHS asking you to shield
- test results if you've been diagnosed with COVID-19
- letters or emails from your child's school with information on closures or reduced hours
HMRC is receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts their essential public services at risk during these challenging times.
But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.
First published 26 March 2020
HMRC COVID-19 helpline0800 024 1222 (Mon to Fri: 8am to 4pm)