UK Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

This page provides guidance for members on the UK Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (“SEISS”) which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 26 March 2020. The content herein has been derived entirely from HMRC’s guidance and communications directly to Chartered Accountants Ireland on the SEISS.  

On 29 May 2020, the Chancellor announced plans to extend the SEISS. Eligible self-employed people will be able to claim a second and final SEISS grant which will open for applications from 17 August 2020. This will be a taxable grant worth 70 per cent of their average monthly trading profits paid out in a single instalment and capped at £6,570 in total which will cover the period 1 June 2020-31 August 2020.

The Institute will continue to engage with HMRC on our members behalf in respect of COVID-19 supports and will share the most up to date information as it becomes available.  

We therefore recommend that you bookmark this page and also regularly check the latest updates section of our COVID-19 hub

This page was last updated on Tuesday, 14 July 2020.  

The SEISS - recent developments

Important updates and recent developments in the SEISS are as follows:

  •  Eligible self-employed individuals will be able to claim a second grant up to a maximum of £6,570 from 17 August 2020
  • Claims for the first SEISS grant closed on 13‌‌ July 2020
  •  Payments under the scheme are made beginning from six working days after an application
  • Claims for the grant must be made via an online portal which first launched for claims for the first grant from Wednesday 13 May 
  • Claims for the grant must be made via an online portal which first launched for claims for the first grant from Wednesday 13 May  
  • Agents are not able to make claims on behalf of clients but can assist their clients in preparing for the claims process 
  • HMRC has been contacting anyone it believes is eligible for the scheme 
  • Anyone who is digitally excluded or Northern Ireland self-employed individuals who do not have a Government Gateway (“GG”) ID (and cannot verify their identity perhaps because they have an Irish passport), must instead claim over the phone  
  • The SEISS guidance has been updated - see below for other useful links; and 
  • An online eligibility checking tool is available to help taxpayers confirm if they are eligible. 

The SEISS – the role of agents  

HMRC has confirmed that agents cannot make claims on behalf of their clients. HMRC have advised us that developing the functionality for agents to make claims on behalf of clients was one of the difficult trade-offs made in delivering the system as early as possible to get money to eligible self-employed taxpayers. This will continue to be the case when applications for the second grant launch next month.

Read our recent news item on this and how you can assist your clients through this process. According to HMRC, the system has therefore been developed in a way that make the claim process as easy as possible to use.  In addition, HMRC have directed their resources to ensuring agents can continue to make claims for employer clients under the job retention scheme given its additional complexity from 1 July 2020. 

Agents can still provide assistance by supporting clients to understand the eligibility rules using the online checking tool and helping them to get ready by advising what information they will need to hand. Agents can also assist clients in making a request for a review where the system gives a response that they are not eligible, or they do not agree with HMRC’s calculation of the grant. 

It is very important that agents do not use client GG credentials to apply for grants under the scheme on behalf of clients. In doing so this may trigger HMRC fraud checks and delay payment. Members are also reminded of their responsibilities under the Institute’s Code of Professional Conduct.  

The SEISS - W5  

For the who, what, where, when and why of the scheme, download our factsheet now.

The SEISS - tax treatment of amounts received 

Grant payments received by a business under the SEISS should be included as a source of taxable income in the financial statements of the relevant business and will therefore be subject to both income tax and self-employed national insurance contributions, in accordance with normal principles.  

The SEISS - dealing with HMRC 

The contact details for the SEISS are available on GOV.UK. HMRC advice is to only use these contact channels if you cannot get the help you need online. HMRC are also providing online webinars which you can book onto to hear the latest updates on the scheme and other supports which may be available. 

Once a claim has been submitted, applicants will be told straight away if their grant is approved. HMRC expect applications to be processed and claims made within six working days. 

The SEISS - useful links 

Make sure to bookmark the relevant SEISS pages on GOV.UK on your web browser to ensure you’re getting the most up to date information.  

Links to the most up to date guidance and related sources of information are provided below:

The SEISS – service availability 

Members are also advised to regularly check the availability and any issues affecting the online SEISS portal so that they can provide their clients with the most up to date information.  

If you have a specific query or issue in respect of the SEISS or any other COVID-19 support which HMRC are administering, please check if your query is covered anywhere on GOV.UK or in our hub before contacting UK Taxation Specialist Leontia Doran

 

 

Chartered Accountants Ireland can accept no responsibility for the content on any site that is linked to from the Institute website. Links are provided in good faith for the potential support of members and students.