SEISS: fourth grant claims gateway now open

CORONAVIRUS

The online gateway to apply for the latest round of grants is now open. When should applications be made and what's different this time?

The fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant covers the months of February, April, and March 2021, and can be claimed if coronavirus has caused a significant reduction in trading profits for that period. To claim, a business must confirm that it has a reasonable belief that the profits for the period will be significantly affected. HMRC gives the following contrasting examples of when this will be the case:

Eligible. A cafe owner has fewer customers due to government restrictions and is only allowed to offer takeaway service, which reduces her takings. She reasonably believes this will significantly reduce her trading profits. She is eligible to claim the fourth grant.

Not eligible. A cafe owner has fewer customers due to government restrictions on households mixing, which initially reduces her takings. She increases her prices and believes her trading profits will not reduce significantly, so she is not eligible to claim the fourth grant. Further helpful examples are available here.

A very important difference with this tranche of grant is that where a tax return for 2020/21 is amended, the trader must notify HMRC if their entitlement to the SEISS is reduced by more than £100.

You should already have been contacted if you are eligible for the grant, as HMRC is basing the information on the 2019/20 and 2020/21 tax returns. The letter will detail the earliest date you can make the application via the online gateway. You apply directly here. An accountant or tax advisor cannot do this on your behalf, as this may trigger a fraud warning.

If you've not received a letter from HMRC detailing your claim date, but you believe you're eligible, contact HMRC on 0800 024 1222. The deadline for claims is 1 June 2021.