Guidance

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

The fourth grant covers 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021.

You can follow these steps to help you understand whether you might be eligible and what you can do now.

  1. Find out who can claim.

  2. Check that your business has been impacted by coronavirus.

  3. Find out how HMRC works out your grant.

  4. Make your claim.

  5. Find out what happens after you’ve claimed.

Who can claim

To be eligible for the fourth grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

You must have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020 and submitted your tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • 2020 to 2021

You must either:

You must also declare that you:

  • intend to continue to trade
  • reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits

Reasonable belief

In order to claim the fourth grant, you must reasonably believe that you’ll suffer a significant reduction in trading profits, due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021. You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.

HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits.

Significant reduction

Before you make a claim, you must decide if the impact on your business between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021 will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in.

HMRC cannot make this decision for you because your individual and wider business circumstances will need to be considered when deciding whether the reduction is significant.

You should wait until you have a reasonable belief that your trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before you make your claim.

You do not have to consider any other coronavirus scheme support payments that you have received when deciding if you’ve had a significant reduction in your trading profits.

There are some examples that can help you decide.

How HMRC works out your eligibility based on your tax returns

To work out your eligibility for the fourth grant we’ll first look at your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to or more than your non-trading income.

If you’re not eligible based on your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return, we’ll then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.

Find out more information on how HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the self-employment income support scheme.

How different circumstances affect the scheme

There are some circumstances that can affect your eligibility such as if:

  • your return is late, amended or under enquiry
  • you’re a member of a partnership
  • you had a new child
  • you have loans covered by the loan charge provisions
  • you claim averaging relief
  • you’re a military reservist
  • you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis

If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

Find out more information on how your circumstances affect your eligibility.

How much you’ll get

The fourth grant is calculated at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits. It will be paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. How much you receive will depend on your average trading profits.

We’ll work out your average trading profits using up to 4 years’ of submitted tax returns. This may affect the amount you’ll get which could be higher or lower than your previous grants.

We’ll take into account trading profits from the 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 tax years. If you have a gap in the years you have traded, we’ll only use your most recent returns after the gap to work out the grant.

This is an example of how we’ll work out how much grant you’ll get if your average trading profits were £42,000 over the last 4 tax years.

Example

  1. Start with your average trading profit (£42,000).
  2. Divide by 12 = £3,500.
  3. Multiply by 3 = £10,500.
  4. Work out 80% of £10,500 = £8,400. You’ll receive £7,500 due to the cap.

Find out more information on how HMRC work out your trading profits.

How to make a claim

Find out how to make a claim for the fourth grant.

You can check a list of genuine HMRC contacts if you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC as this may be a scam.

How the grant is treated

The grant is subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance Contributions. It must be reported on your 2021 to 2022 Self Assessment tax return.

The grant also counts towards your annual allowance for pension contributions.

SEISS grants are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

Further support

There will be a fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021.

Guidance on how to claim the fifth grant will be provided in due course.

Other help you can get

Get other financial support

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but even if the claim is not approved it will affect any tax credits you claim and may affect other benefits. So you should:

If you make a claim for Universal Credit the grant may affect the amount you get, but will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.

The government is also providing wider support for the self-employed. Find out what support you can get if you’re affected by coronavirus.

If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business.

Contacting HMRC

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.

Published 26 March 2020
Last updated 21 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. The online service for the fourth grant is now available.

  2. This guidance has been updated with information about the fourth SEISS grant.

  3. Added translation

  4. Claims for the third grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim for the third grant was 29 January 2021. Details about the fourth grant will be announced on 3 March 2021.

  5. The online service for the third grant is now available.

  6. This page has been updated with the information for the third grant of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

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

  8. Added translation

  9. Added translation

  10. This scheme is being extended. Guidance will be updated as soon as possible.

  11. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claim service is now open.

  12. Added translation

  13. Updated to confirm that the online service for the first grant is closed. Included further information about the second and final grant.

  14. New examples for how a business could be adversely affected by coronavirus have been added.

  15. Further information about the extension to the scheme has been added.

  16. The scheme has now been extended. A second and final grant will be available when the scheme opens again in August 2020. If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.

  17. The online service is now available. Make your claim from the date we gave you when you checked your eligibility.

  18. Added translation

  19. The 'How to claim' section updated with the date the online service will be available, if you’re eligible, we will tell you the date you can make your claim from and that if your claim is approved you’ll receive your payment within 6 working days.

  20. You can use our new online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim.

  21. More information has been added about who can claim the grant and how different circumstances can affect the scheme. Information on how state aid could affect your claim has been added and we’ve included information about the impact of claiming the grant on all work visas.

  22. Updated as previous version published in error.

  23. This guidance has been updated with more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

  24. First published.