Finally, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme 4 (SEISS 4) grant, worth up to £7,500, is on its way, though far too late for many thousands of people. Still, for many including myself it will be a lifesaver. Let’s take a look at the latest self employment grant details. Hopefully this will inform you as to whether you are eligible for financial support.
Thankfully this latest grant will allow recent self-employed starters to claim, something recent grants did not. This is thought to add 600,000 people to the total who will be eligible for support. The newest grant will cover the months of February, March, and April, just as that period ends! It is the first grant that will take 2019/20 tax returns into account as well as previous tax years. Hence this is why more people should be eligible for the award. As with previous grants, when you apply you must declare that your earnings have been hit adversely by the pandemic.
Self-employment trading profits for the 2019/20 tax year must be £50,000 or under, and at least equal to other income. If not, the government calculator will average the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 to decipher whether an individual qualifies.
The grant pays 80% of average trading profits up to £7,500 for 1 Feb to 30 Apr. The average is based on those four tax years up to & including 2019/20. If a person has a gap in trading years, calculations will only the tax returns after the gap.
The first applications can be made on 22nd April. Many will have received emails saying when they can apply – this is the date when i can apply for example. You can also go into your portal on the government site and find the date. As always it is staggered so that the system does not fall over. For applications that the government accept, the money should land in accounts within 6 days. For previous grants, the money landed after just 2 days, so it is a speedy and simple process.
Some who were eligible before will not be this time around. And for those still eligible as before. amounts may vary. Do not assume that you will get exactly the same amount as for previous grants. The change needed to include 600,000 new starters does slightly shift the maths, because of the inclusion of the 2019/20 tax year. Bigger earnings in that year could mean a bigger payout, so it may be a positive development. Alternatively, the new criteria may push a few over the limit of £50,000 per year, leaving them ineligible. Lower earnings then could reduce payouts or exclude you if non self-employed income was high.
To claim, you must declare that you’ve had a ‘significant reduction’ in profits. Your business must have been hit by Covid between the beginning of Feb and end of Apr. There are online guides across multiple sites on the internet if you are still unsure whether you are eligible for the grant.
SEISS 5 will cover May to Sept and is worth up to £7,500, but it’s turnover dependent. Those whose turnover fell by 30%+ in the year to Apr 2021 will get 80% of profits; those whose turnover fell by less than 30% will get just 30% of profits. Exact eligibility criteria and application dates haven’t yet been announced so we need to hold fire to get fuller details on this award.