After its announcement last March, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’s claims portal is now live online from May 13, 2020. Eligible taxpayers who were notified through email, text, or mail can now process their application to receive grants that would help augment profits gravely affected by Coronavirus.
How much can I claim from the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?
You can claim up to 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid in single cash out that covers three months. The amount is capped at £7,500 in total and is taxable. Please take note that it is a grant and not a loan, so there’s no need to pay back anything to the government, except for the tax. Also, this is a temporary scheme and can be extended depending on the outlook.
Who is eligible of the Income Support Scheme?
HMRC selected taxpayers who they think can be eligible for the claims, based on their self-assessment tax returns. They first evaluated tax returns based on 2018-2019 trading profits, which should be £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income. Otherwise, HMRC would have looked at numbers from 2016.
Moreover, you should meet the following criteria:
· You submitted your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return by April 23, 2020,
· You traded from 2019 to 2020
· You intend to trade until 2021
· Your business has been affected by Coronavirus. For instance, you need to self-isolate, are sick because of the Coronavirus, are caring for a Coronavirus patient. Other reasons include having few clients, an interrupted supply chain, and limited employees coming to work.
What are the steps I need to take to claim?
1. You should have received in the week of May 4, 2020, a notice via email, text, or letter from the HMRC informing you of what you need to ready for claiming.
2. Go to the eligibility checker to get a schedule for when you can make a claim. You need to enter your ten-digit Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and your national insurance number. From there, the system will confirm your eligibility by checking against their internal system your tax return information. You will be assigned a date and time for claiming if your application is approved.
3. Create a government gateway ID if you still haven’t. You will need to verify your identity through valid IDs such as your UK passport or driver’s license, Your government gateway ID is what you’ll use for the claims portal, so don’t skip this important step.
4. Log in to the claims portal on the date and time you were assigned with at the eligibility checker to view your grant amount.
5. Provide your UK bank account details. Your payout should be reflected in your bank account within six business days. Make sure that you keep a record of the calculation of the grant amount, as well as evidence of your business being adversely affected by Coronavirus.
Can I make a dispute?
Yes. If at the eligibility checker you get a “not eligible result”, you can fill in an online form that asks for a review of your case. If you are working with a chartered accountant, you can have them go through this step, as they are the ones who are most aware of your income and profit figures. You or your accountant may also make a dispute regarding the grant amount, but only after you complete a claim.
If after a dispute you still are ineligible for SEISS, you may try exploring other options. It is only one of the several schemes that the government has rolled out in response to the Coronavirus crisis, so it is best to explore your options and find out which scheme applies to you the best.