SEISS: Can you claim the fifth self-employed grant? Key criteria explained

Martin Lewis outlines details on the fifth SEISS grant

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During the lockdown, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has helped thousands to keep their businesses afloat. The scheme is expected to end in September, but not before offering a fifth and final grant to eligible SEISS claimants. Swathes of self-employed people are not eligible for the grant under the current criteria.

Who can claim the fifth self-employed grant?

HMRC has set out three stages of criteria that claimants must meet to get the fifth grant.

Stage one outlines requirements for the claimant’s trading status, and when they must have traded.

Specifically, claimants must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

The claimant must also have traded in both the 2019/2020 and the 2020/2021 tax years to get the grant.

The second stage of the eligibility criteria addresses tax returns and trading profits.

The guidance states the claimant must have submitted their 2019/2020 tax return on or before March 2, 2021, to qualify.

The claimant must also have trading profits “of no more than £50,000” and their trading profits must be “at least equal to” their non-trading income.

Non-trading income is defined as money made outside of the claimant’s business.

Stage three of the eligibility criteria involves the claimant deciding on whether they should claim the fifth grant.

The guidance states the claimant must inform HMRC when they make their claim that they “intend to keep trading in 2021 to 2022”.

The claimant must also declare they “reasonably believe” that there will be a “significant reduction” in their trading profits during the claim period due to coronavirus.

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How much is the fifth grant worth?

The fifth SEISS grant is worth 80 percent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500 in total, if the claimant’s turnover has decreased by 30 percent or more.

The fifth grant is worth 30 percent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £2,850 in total, if the claimant’s turnover has decreased by less than 30 percent.

The grant covers May to September 2021, but it will only equate to three months’ worth of average monthly trading profits.

MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis explained on ITV’s This Morning recently: “This grant covers the period from May to September and it gives you three months of average trading profits.

“May, June, July, August, September… and you get three months.

“Yes, you get three months of average trading profits to cover a five-month period.

“If you think that doesn’t make sense, you’re right.

“It is completely unfair when compared to the furlough payment, and it is the second time they have done this.”

When can you claim SEISS grant five?

People eligible for SEISS based on their tax returns should have been contacted in mid-July by HMRC.

HMRC is giving people a personal claim date to apply for SEISS grant five from, with the online service expected to open from late July 2021.

Claims for SEISS grant five must be made on or before September 30, 2021.

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