Claims for the third Self Employed Income Support Grant (SEISS) can be made from 30 November 2020
The third grant, which offers 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single taxable instalment capped at £7,500, will be available covering the period from 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021. Self-employed people who are eligible and in need of support will be able to claim the third grant at any time from 30 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.
The eligibility criteria for the third SEISS grant have been further tightened. As the rules have changed, claimants need to consider them carefully before claiming from 30 November.
As before, to make a claim for the third grant, you must:
- be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if they trade through a limited company or a trust
- have traded in both the tax years 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.
To qualify for the third grant, the eligibility criteria state that the taxpayer:
- must either be currently trading and impacted by reduced demand, or have been trading but be temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus; and
- intends to continue to trade, and reasonably believes that the impact on their business will cause a significant reduction in their trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.
The business must have been impacted on or after 1 November 2020. You must keep evidence to show the impact and reduction in your business activity across the qualifying period.
The significant reduction in trading profits test is to be applied to the accounting period as a whole. HMRC has specifically said that a reduction in profits due to increased costs (such as having to buy masks) does not count for this purpose.
HMRC’s guidance indicates that it expects claimants to make ‘an honest assessment’ about whether they reasonably believe that their business will have a significant reduction in profits.
No claim can be made where the reduced activity, capacity or demand is caused solely because the person is required to self-isolate, or care for a person required to self-isolate, as a result of travelling to the UK.
HMRC’s guidance on how trading conditions affect eligibility includes a number of examples of how the rules apply.
See HMRC’s latest guidance on checking if you can claim a grant.