Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

Self-employed support package

Support available up to September 2021 for freelancers and the self-employed impacted by COVID-19.

This page was updated on 29 July 2021.

On 3 March 2021, the government announced that a fifth and final grant will be provided under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme covering the period May- September 2021.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (November 2020 - September 2021)

Fifth Grant (May 2021 - September 2021) - The online claims service is now open and you must make your claim on or before 30 September 2021.

How much will you get? 

    How much you will get 
If you need turnover figures to claim  If you traded in 2019 to 2020 as well as any of the following tax years the value of the grant will depend on how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021. 

• 2018 to 2019
• 2017 to 2018
• 2016 to 2017

To make your claim you must work out your April 2020 to April 2021 turnover as well as find a previous year’s turnover to use as a reference year. HMRC will then work out your grant amount based on how much your turnover is down by after they've compared your 2 turnover figures.

You can find out how to work out your turnover figures on the GOV.UK website 
• If your turnover is down by 30% or more, the grant will cover 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500


• If your turnover is down by less than 30%, the grant will cover 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850
If you don't need turnover figures to claim

If you started trading in 2019 to 2020 and did not trade in the following tax years you do not need turnover figures to claim the grant.


• 2018 to 2019
• 2017 to 2018
• 2016 to 2017

The grant will cover 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the scheme, you must:

  • be self-employed or a member of a partnership 
  • Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income 
  • have traded in both tax years: 2019 to 2020 (submitting your Self Assessment tax return by 2 March 2021) and 2020 to 2021
  • be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand because of the pandemic or you have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
  • declare that:
    • you intend to continue to trade in 2021 to 2022
    • you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of COVID-19 between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021

Find out how your trading profits and non-trading income are used to work out your SEISS eligibility and grant amount.

Key Points to note:

  • The grant is taxable and you must report it on your 2021 to 2022 Self Assessment tax return.
  • Different circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme 

How to claim 

  • If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will have contacted you in mid-July 2021 to give you a date that you can make your claim from.
  • The online claims service is now open. 

To claim you’ll need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) 
  • National Insurance number 
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    • bank account number
    • sort code
    • name on the account
    • your address linked to your bank account

Key points to consider:

  • You must make the claim yourself and not ask a tax agent or adviser to claim on your behalf (this will trigger a fraud alert, resulting in a delayed payment) 
  • If an amendment to your tax return on or after 3 March 2021 decreases the amount you’re eligible for, you’ll need to inform HMRC within 90 days. You may then have to pay back some or all of the grant.

After you have claimed

After claiming, you should allow 6 working days for the payment to come through. Contact HMRC only if it has been more than 10 working days since you made your claim and you’ve not received your payment. 

Key points to consider:

  • You must maintain records of your claim
  • You must inform HMRC if you claimed a grant in error and were not eligible for the grant at the time of the claim. There are some additional instances in which you should inform HMRC. Find out when you should contact HMRC, here.

 

For more information, visit the government website. 

An updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – get ready to claim the fifth grant overview video from HMRC is also available. Alternatively, you can register for the next live webinar

If you are Self-Employed, the Greater Manchester EnterprisingYou programme can offer expertise and advice.  

Find out how EnterprisingYou can help you during the pandemic

Fourth Grant (February 2021 - April 2021) - has now closed

The fourth grant will cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits up to £7,500 in total. 

Eligibility

Note: Both the fourth and the fifth grants will be available for individuals who were newly self-employed in 2019 - 2020 provided they submitted their 2019-2020 Self-Assessment tax return by 2 March.

To be eligible for the scheme, you must:

  • be self-employed or a member of a partnership 
  • have traded in both tax years: 2019 to 2020 (submitting your Self Assessment tax return by 2 March 2021) and 2020 to 2021
  • be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand because of the pandemic or you have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
  • declare that:
    • you intend to continue to trade
    • you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus

Find out how your trading profits and non-trading income are used to work out your SEISS eligibility and grant amount.

Key Points to note:

  • The grant is subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance Contributions.
  • To assess eligibility HMRC will review your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income 
  • If you’re not eligible based on the 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return, HMRC will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.
  • Different circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme 

How to claim (Claims must be made on or before 1 June 2021)

The online claims service is now open

To claim you’ll need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) 
  • National Insurance number 
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    • bank account number
    • sort code
    • name on the account
    • your address linked to your bank account

After you have claimed

After claiming, you should allow 6 working days for the payment to come through. Contact HMRC only if it has been more than 10 working days since you made your claim and you’ve not received your payment. To check the status of your payment, update your details or see how much you were paid you can use the online service

 

For more information, visit the government website

You can also register for an HMRC webinar which will take you through the aim of the scheme, who can apply, how much you may be entitled to, how to claim the fourth grant, and what happens after you’ve claimed. An updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – fourth grant overview video from HMRC is also available. 

Third Grant (November 2020 - January 2021) - claims have now closed

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. This will cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits up to £7,500 in total. 

The online service to claim the next grant will be available from November 30, 2020, and claims must be made on or before 29 January 2021. Eligible individuals do not have to have claimed the previous grants to make a claim. 

Eligibility

Individuals who were not eligible for the previous Self-Employed Income Support Scheme grants (based on the information in their Self Assessment tax returns), will not be eligible for the next grant. 

To be eligible for the scheme, individuals must:

  • be self-employed or a member of a partnership (You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust) 
  • have traded in both tax years: 2018 to 2019 (submitting your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year) and 2019 to 2020

The government has published the full eligibility criteria here.

Key Points to note:

  • The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions and must be reported on your 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return
  • To assess eligibility HMRC reviews your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income (The government has published guidance on how HMRC will work out your trading profits and non-trading income)
  • If you’re not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, HMRC will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019

Further information on how to claim the next grant is available through the government website. For information on how to claim, businesses can also see the related government YouTube guidance video.

 

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (May - October 2020)

Second Grant - The service is now closed for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. You can no longer make a claim for the second grant.

The eligibility criteria remains the same as the first grant, however there are some changes to the scheme. 

  • Eligible individuals can claim a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profit, and capped at £6,570 in total. 
  • Individuals will still need to confirm that their business has been negatively affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020.
  • An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant in order to be eligible for the second and final grant. 

More information on how different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, can be seen through the government's website.  

If you want to claim the second and final grant you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.

How will it work? 

  • HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly once the scheme is operational, to complete an online application and be paid directly into their bank account.  
  • The scheme’s first grant will cover three-months pay to May and grants will be paid in one, single payment for all three months from June. 
  • HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return – and returns for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 where needed – to determine their eligibility and is contacting customers via email, text message or letter.
  • For the first grant, applications closed on 13 July 2020.
  • For the second grant, applications closed on October 19 2020. 

To check the status of your payment or if HMRC have asked you to update your details for your claim you can use the online service on the government website.

How to apply?  

To claim you’ll need your:

  • Government Gateway user ID and password 
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    • bank account number
    • sort code
    • name on the account
    • your address linked to your bank account 

You will also need to confirm that your business has been adversely affected due to Coronavirus at the time you make your claim.

GOV‌.UK has further details about who is eligible for the scheme and how it will work. 

You must tell HMRC if you think you:

  • have been overpaid
  • made a claim in error and were not eligible for the grant 

Further details on how to inform HMRC and pay some or all of the grant back is available on the government website

First Grant

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will provide self-employed people a guaranteed income of 80% of their trading profit, up to £2,500 per month for at least three months. If you receive the grant you can continue to work.

Eligibility

  • The scheme is open to individuals with a trading profit of £50k or less in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50k from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. 
  • More than half of the individual's income must come from self-employment 
  • Only those already in self-employment and with a tax return from 2019  
  • Businesses that can file tax returns for the 2018/19 financial year should do so as soon as possible to be eligible 
  • The self-employment scheme does not apply to company director’s PAYE salary; however they may be eligible for support from the Job Retention Scheme

 

If you are Self-Employed, the Greater Manchester EnterprisingYou programme can offer expertise and advise. Find out more here.

Visit our FAQs page for more Coronavirus Business related information

Coronavirus Business FAQ's

More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 237 4128 or email us at: BGH@growthco.uk

 

The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

Share this post