HM Revenue & Customs updates Self-Employment Income Support Scheme guidance

Ahead of the second round of funding for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opening for applications on 17 August, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has updated its guidance documents relating to the scheme.

The first round of applications for SEISS grants closed on Monday 13 July 2020 and had allowed self-employed individuals to claim grants worth up to 80 per cent of their usual trading profits over three months, capped at £7,500.

The second round of SEISS grants will be worth up to 70 per cent of usual trading profits over three months, capped at £6,570.

The eligibility criteria remain substantially the same as for the first round of funding, with applicants required to have annual trading profits of no more than £50,000, at least equal to their income from non-trading sources.

Self-employed individuals will need to have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus outbreak on or after 14 July 2020, because, for example:

  • They are unable to work because they:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • They have had to scale down, temporarily stop trading or incurred additional costs because:
    • their supply chain has been interrupted
    • they have fewer or no customers or clients
    • their staff are unable to come in to work
    • one or more of their contracts have been cancelled
    • they had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules

As with the first round of the scheme, HMRC says it will contact self-employed individuals that it believes will be eligible. However, it has warned people to be alert to the possibility of fraudulent texts, calls or emails purporting to be from HMRC and asking them to click a link or provide personal information.

HMRC has also launched a new service for people who were in receipt of the first grant but believe either that they were overpaid or that they were not, in fact, eligible to make repayments. Repayments can be made online here.

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