Self-employed have one week left to apply for SEISS government grant of up to £6,750 – how to apply

THE government's  self-employment income support scheme which helps struggling businesses during the coronavirus outbreak is closing next week.

It offers up to £6,750 to people whose finances have been negatively impacted.

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Applications for the first grant closed on July 13, 2020. The second grant opened for applications on August 17, 2020 and closed on October 19, 2020.

How the scheme works is that the government will cover up to 70 per cent of your trading profits over three months.

It's capped at £2,190 a month so the maximum you will be able to claim in total is £6,750.

But the grants do count as taxable income, which means you need to enter the amount you receive on your self-assessment tax return for the tax year 2020 to 2021.

The deadline for self-assessment has been extended by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

How do I apply?

You can apply here on the Gov.uk website.

Self-employed workers will need the following info to claim:

  • Self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR) – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
  • National insurance number – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost national insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted).

Am I eligible?

The government has received criticism over the SEISS scheme, with workers saying that it doesn't benefit everyone.

In order to claim the second payout, self-employed workers have to prove they have been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after July 14, 2020.

To be eligible, you also must have filed a tax return for 2018/19, meaning you must have been self-employed before April 6, 2019.

The grants are calculated based on an average of your profits over three tax years – 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

If you didn't trade in 2016/17, then it will be based on your average profits in 2017/18 and 2018/19, or in 2018/19 if that's the only year you traded.

You must also earn more than half of your total income from self-employment and your trading profit must be less than £50,000 a year to qualify.

Self-employed workers who are company directors or run their businesses as limited companies cannot apply.

But if you claim maternity allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

You can be eligible for the second grant regardless of whether or not you claimed the first payment.

What help is available?

THE government has introduced the following measures to help self-employed workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Income-tax deferrals: Self-assessment income tax payments, that were due in July, can be deferred to the end of January next year.
  • Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme: SMEs can get loans and overdrafts of up to £5 million for up to six years and the government with guarantee up to 80 per of these loans.
  • Grants of up to £10,000: Small firms can get grants of up to £10,000 to help with ongoing business costs.
  • VAT payments: VAT payments can be deferred for three months.
  • Tax bill help: SMEs that cannot afford their tax bills can ask HMRC for a “time to pay” arrangement so any debt collection is suspended.
  • Business rates holiday: A 12-month business rates holiday has been introduced for many businesses.

Has the scheme been extended?

After facing pressure from MPs to extend the furlough and self employed support schemes, Mr Sunak announced the new self-employed grant on September 24.

It will cover 20% of business' average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875, spanning from November to January next year.

An additional second grant will also be available for self-employed workers to cover February 2021 to the end of April.

The government hasn't said how much this second grant will cover.

Businesses will be eligible for the new help if they previously qualified for SEISS and if they're actively trading, even if they're facing reduced demand.

Meanwhile, the UK economy grew by 2.1% in August thanks to Eat Out to Help Out.

Iain Duncan Smith has called for the Government to unleash a £460m benefit reform in wake of Covid-19.

And here is everything you need to know about the next job support scheme.

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