Self employment income support scheme (SEISS) for Covid

    If you are self-employed and your income has fallen during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be eligible for the Covid Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
    In early 2021 the Government announced that the SEISS scheme would be extended through to September 2021, with the final two phases taking into account tax returns filed for the year 2019/20. This meant that up to 600,000 more people could be eligible for support.
    SEISS phase 5 will open to claims in late July 2021 and HMRC is likely to contract you mid July to give you the earliest date from which you can make your claim.
    SEISS phase 5 covers the period from May to September 2021. Unlike previous grants that just relied on self-employment income being hit by COVID, the amount paid for SEISS phase 5 will be based on the drop in your income from 2020 to 2021.
    • If your income has dropped by 30% or more, you'll get 80% of three months average trading profits, up to a maximum grant of £7,500.
    • If your turnover has dropped by less than 30%, then you'll receive 30% of three months average trading profits up to a total grant of £2,850.

    The 30% drop will be based on income calculations for the year to April 2020 versus the year to April 2021. HMRC have said they’ll provide more information about this before claims open in late July.

    You don’t necessarily need to have taken SEISS support in earlier rounds to receive this support.  However the eligibility criteria is the same as for SEISS 4. So if you claimed or were able to claim the previous grant, you should be able to claim again.  

    What you will need to do

    You'll need your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and National Insurance Number when you come to access these grants. If you need them, you can find your UTR and NINO reference numbers in your untied account.

    A tax return for the 2019/20 tax year (for income to 5 April 2020) must have been submitted by midnight on 2 March 2021 in order to be eligible for the SEISS grants.

    How does SEISS work?

    To be eligible for the fifth grant you must be self-employed (or a member of a partnership). The qualifying criteria are as follows:
    • You must have submitted your 2019/20 tax return by 2 March 2021.
    • You must have been self-employed in the 2019/20 tax year and continued to trade in the 2020/21 year (or would have done if it weren't for Covid), and intend to continue to trade in the future. 
    • Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000.
    • At least half your earnings (or more) must have come from self-employment.
    • If you don’t meet the above criteria on your 2019/20 tax return, HMRC will look at your tax returns from 2016/17 onwards (if appropriate), to calculate the averages. 
    • You must also reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade because of coronavirus.
    More guidance about the fourth and fifth SEISS grants will be published in due course. You can also find more details about SEISS at

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