The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is a two-part government grant for the self-employed or members of a partnership who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. The second round of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme opened to applications on Monday 17 August.


How it works

If you’re self-employed and your business has been adversely affected by COVID-19, you could be eligible for the grant, which is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570⁠.

HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much you should receive. They will assess if you’re eligible for the grant based on your average trading profits for the past three years and non-trading income on your Self Assessment tax returns.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work. The grant doesn’t need to be repaid, but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

Who is eligible?

The grant is open to the self-employed who are able to show that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. This means they will have experienced lower income or higher costs because of COVID-19, at any time since 14 July 2020. It is only open to those who have trading profits under £50,000 and where self-employed trading profits are at least equal to any non-trading income.

To be eligible you must have traded in the tax year 2018 / 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year⁠. You must also have traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020 and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021. You can claim the grant whether or not you claimed it the first time round.

How to apply for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Visit the HMRC website to make your claim:

You will need your:

  • Self-Assessment UTR
  • National Insurance number
  • Bank account number and sort code
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

It’s a straightforward process and if your claim is approved, HMRC will pay your grant in a single instalment into your bank account within 6 working days.

You’ll need to keep a copy of all records, including the amount claimed, the claim period and the grant claim reference, and you must report your SEISS grant on your Self-Assessment tax return 20/21. You’ll also need to report the grant as income for any Universal Credit or Tax Credit claims.

We welcome the grant as financial respite for the self-employed who’ve been hard hit by coronavirus. But we know it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth for Forgotten Ltd, the thousands of small business owners who have yet to receive any financial support from the government. Whether there may be further rounds of The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is yet to be seen.

If you have any questions about whether you are eligible or how much you should receive, get in touch and we’d be happy to help. You can reach us on 0203 026 4679 or at

This article is a general summary only. It should not replace accounting advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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