The SEISS is the main source of government funding for self-employed individuals who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus far, four SEISS grants have been made and the 5th grant is expected to open later this month with a claim deadline of 30th September 2021.
The rules to claim the grant are the same as the previous grants with the addition of an additional turnover test. Turnover for this purpose includes all fees, sales and money earned by a business excluding grants received. The turnover condition helps determine the amount of the grant that can be claimed and the test is met where the turnover for the pandemic period is at least 30% less than turnover for the reference period.
Meaning of ‘periods’
The ‘pandemic period’ is the 12-month period beginning on a day falling within the period from 1 April 2020 and 6 April 2020; for example, the year to 31 March 2021 or, where more appropriate, the year to 5 April 2021. The ‘reference period’ is the tax year 2019-20; however, the taxpayer can use 2018-19 where they feel this more accurately reflects their turnover for a typical 12-month period.
Working out the grant sum
The calculation of the grant available is subject to the below.
- where the turnover test is met, the person may claim an amount equivalent to their average profit for three months x 80%, capped at £7,500; and
- where the turnover test is not met, the grant is equal to average profit for three months x 30%, capped at £2,850.
Not all claimants are required to consider the turnover test: new traders (ie, those who traded in 2019-20 and not any of 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19) and (broadly) those carrying on an underwriting business are removed from the turnover test.