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Applications for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme open early


The government’s scheme to support the self-employed has today opened for claims – weeks ahead of schedule.

As of 8am this morning, self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.

It is hoped that millions will benefit from the scheme with the payments – to be paid in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500 – expected to land in bank accounts within six working days of each claim.

Everyone eligible for the SEISS will be able to receive the government grant by 25 May, or within six days of a completed claim.

Commercial partner at Morecrofts, Donal Bannon said: “This scheme is a welcome lifeline to thousands of self-employed people who have been struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic as other forms of Government support are not open to them.

“However any self-employed people have still not received any support including those notionally earning profits of more than £50,000 in previous years and those directors who receive the majority of their remuneration by way of dividends rather than salary.”

People will be able to make their claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on their Unique Tax Reference number. HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker.

People can check their date using HMRC’s online checker at any time using this link –

Who is eligible for the grant?

Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and they:

  • earn at least half of their income through self-employment
  • have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
  • traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

HMRC calculate the amount to be paid to each eligible claimant based on an average of the tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Customers have been invited to claim their SEISS grant on a specified date, from 13 – 18 May. They won’t be able to apply before their claim date but can make a claim after that day.

Check if you are eligible for the scheme here.

For further information, please read HMRC’s guidance or speak to your tax agent. If you need further support, please use HMRC’s webchat service or call the Covid-19 Helpline on 0800 024 1222.

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