THIRD SELF-EMPLOYMENT GRANT OPENS TODAY: Who is eligible, what’s changed and how to claim

Image credit: HM Treasury (Flickr CC2.0)

Millions of self-employed workers are to begin their applications for a third government support grant to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

Fresh guidance for taxi drivers and other self-employed workers was released last week, stating more about eligibility and how to claim ahead of the Government’s third round of coronavirus support payment applications which open this week.

According to new information released by HM Treasury, workers will be able to make their claim for the third Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant from today, 30 November, and have until 29 January 2021 to make the claim.

To make a claim for the third grant the claimant’s business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after 1 November 2020.

Support for millions of workers through the third SEISS grant will cover November to January and will be calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

During the pandemic the furlough scheme has protected over nine million jobs across the UK, and self-employed people have already received over £13 billion in support. This is in addition to billions of pounds in tax deferrals and grants for businesses.

According to details released by HM Treasury, all claimants must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements. This includes the amount claimed and the grant claim reference.

HM Treasury are also asking those eligible for the grant to keep any evidence that their business has had REDUCED DEMAND due to coronavirus at the time they made the claim. This could include:

  • business accounts showing reduction in activity compared to previous years

  • records of reduced or cancelled contracts or appointments

  • fewer invoices

  • a record of dates where the claimant had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions.

If the claimant’s business is temporarily UNABLE to trade they also must keep evidence, such as:

  • a record of dates where they had to close due to government restrictions

  • NHS Test and Trace communications

  • a letter or email from the NHS asking them to shield

  • test results if they have been diagnosed with coronavirus

  • letters or emails from the claimant’s child’s school if they have had parental caring responsibilities.

Cabbies and other self-employed workers looking to make a claim for the third SEISS grant will need their:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

  • National Insurance number

  • Government Gateway user ID and password

  • UK bank details.

The advice from HM Treasury states that claimants must make the claim themselves, and not ask a tax agent or adviser to claim on their behalf. This could trigger a fraud alert, which would delay the payment.

The online service for the third grant will be available from today.

HMRC are also warning workers and claimants to be vigilant of scams from people claiming to be a HMRC contact.

Jim Harra, HMRC Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive, told self-employed tax payers via an email last week: “Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages to make them seem authentic. Search 'scams' on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to texts to 60599.”

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