SEISS: How to check you are eligible for third grant before it opens next week

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SEISS has come in the form of grants intended to support self-employed people who have had their income affected by COVID-19. After the help provided by the first two initial grants, the government announced the scheme was to be extended with an additional two grants. These grants will cover November 2020 to April 2021 in an effort to continue to support those who have found it challenging amid the ongoing crisis.

The third SEISS grant will open next week for applications, but for many Britons it will be important to take certain actions before this date.

Indeed, there is a key checklist for self-employed people to bear in mind to ensure they are amply prepared for when applications reopen.

Firstly, to avoid nasty surprises, Britons can check their eligibility to receive the grant.

To qualify for SEISS, there are a number of conditions to bear in mind, including the fact people must have been eligible for the first and second grant – even if they did not claim previously.

In addition, Britons must declare they intend to continue to trade and either:

  • are currently actively trading but have been impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • were previously trading but temporarily unable to do so due to COVID-19

Trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to non-trading profits according to a person’s 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return.

Once someone finds out whether they are eligible, the next item on the checklist is gathering evidence.

A person must be able to show the pandemic has meant they have been impacted by reduced demand.

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The phrase ‘reduced demand’ is vital for Britons to bear in mind, as it is an alteration from the ‘adversely affected’ phraseology first two grants and could affect eligibility. 

For self-employed people then, keeping evidence of the impact COVID-19 has had on a business is key.

This could include accounts, confirmation of COVID-19 related loans, or dates of business closures due to lockdown restrictions.

Without such information it is likely a claim will be able to progress any further, and could see some self-employed people lose out on the support they need. 

Preparing this paperwork ahead of time then, could be the key to success within a claim, as it is likely to ease the process of application through HMRC.

Finally, there will be key forms of information Britons will need to gather in order to submit a claim.

Most of this information will be easy to find, and therefore should not take long as an item for self-employed people to complete on their checklist. 

Such information includes a Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference, National Insurance number and UK bank details.

Furthermore, self-employed people will need to have their Government Gateway User ID and password to hand in order to apply online. 

Once a person has checked off these items on their list, it is likely they will feel far more confident in a smooth application process. 

The government website has stated further information will be released about the third and indeed the fourth grant in due course.

As the date of applications opening draws closer, then, Britons could be assisted by the updates HMRC provides. 

It is worth noting that any grant eventually received will be subject to National Insurance contributions, and is taxable. 

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