Started your business AFTER April 2019? SEISS #4 is for YOU TOO!

We can now reveal more detail and the hoops you’ll need to jump through to register/qualify for the next Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) payment. The portal is expected to open between end of April and end of May 2021. We want to give you a simple to understand assessment of the situation here and not swamp you with all the examples which the government has provided as guidance. However, we will create a separate linked document to help you here, or you can get in touch and discuss it with us.

There’s important changes you need to know about. Unlike the first three grants, people who are self employed who did not qualify before MAY QUALIFY FOR THE FOURTH GRANT.

  1. If you did not qualify for the previous SEISS grants because your started your business after the previous cut off point, (ie April 2019) but HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR TAX RETURN BY MARCH 2nd THIS YEAR, you may well qualify.
  2. The other criteria which were in place for the other grants- such as having a profit below £50,000 for the year, having over 50% of your declared earnings from the self employed business (for example, other income streams might be pension pots, or rental income which are not from your new self employed status) and the cap being £2,500 per month (so a maximum payout of £7,500 in total) remain in place for this new grant.
  3. There are NEW criteria for qualifying – in a nutshell, they relate to you having ‘reasonable belief’ there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus. So it will be your job to, if asked, provide proof that this applies to you. Reduced profit in itself is NOT a criteria. Please get in touch with us if you would like help deciding whether you should apply.
  4. The grant will be equivalent of 80% of three months trading profits declared on your tax return for the year ending April ’20, whether or not you received the grants previously or are a recently registered sole trader.
  5. This means that the figures HMRC are using to calculate your grant may be based on a lower profit than your previous grant of 80% from the 1st and 3rd grants. However, the period being used is just prior to the start of lockdown (less two weeks) so if your business was doing well and your self employment profits were high for that year ending April ’20, then you might actually have an increase in the payout.
  6. If you’ve been trading continuously for the last four years, your profit figures that will be averaged.
  7. Just to reiterate from other posts – you need to still be trading and intend to trade and you may have to prove that the trade has continued – proof will range from advertising you’ve done, receipts or invoices, contracts for supply of goods or services, activity on your business bank account. An intention to carry on trading is what they are after. IF YOU’VE RECEIVED AN EMAIL ABOUT THIS, PERHAPS YOU’VE CLAIMED A SEISS GRANT BUT YOUR BUSINESS HAS STOPPED TRADING OR LOOKS LIKE IT HAS, THEY WILL BE IN TOUCH. You need to respond by Monday 22nd March if you’ve had one of these emails to be in with a chance of the SEISS #4 grant.

If you’ve been self employed for a few years and qualified for the previous grants (even if you didn’t apply) you don’t need to read on.

However, if you have only submitted one years’ worth of accounts as a self employed sole trader – ie self employed person- you will need to be very aware about the method HMRC are going to use to verify you are who you are to prevent fraud. So please, don’t gloss over this bit. It’s critical if you would like to be awarded the grant.

HMRC have always said that you will know if it’s a scam call from them, as they will never contact you by phone, however, this is going to change for this. HOWEVER, they will contact you by letter first.

So if you get one of those buff coloured envelopes that you put in your ‘I’ll open that tomorrow’ pile, please do yourself a favour and open anything you receive between now and mid/late April from HMRC. IMMEDIATELY. As the verification process is time sensitive. Yes, I know that’s all any of us need right now, but hey, that’s the way it is. They have however, said what the letter will contain (how easy it is for someone to scam this is another matter) but here’s a link to what the letter will say.

  1. You will be informed about the seven deadly sins, I mean steps you will need to take to be able to be in the system for the payout which will be opening end April.
  2. Once you’ve received the letter, they are committing to contact you BY PHONE on the number you’ve given on your tax return. If it’s our number, they will ask us for yours. If you didn’t submit a phone number. So please, check what number has been put on your form. Because if you want to change it, there’s a number to ring to change it. It’s 0800 024 1222.
  3. They have said they will try to ring you three times in these hours (8.00am – 5.30pm) and that the number will have no ID as ‘unknown number’. So if you’re like most of us, you might not pick up these calls but we suggest that you make an exception if you’ve had the letter from HMRC in the last ten days. NB on this phone call you will get the ‘the opportunity to confirm that the caller is from HMRC.
    We will then ask you provide an email address and with your agreement, we will send you
    an email with instructions on how to share the documents outlined in the letter. This will
    include a link for ‘Dropbox’ – a tool for sharing files securely. You will be able to use the
    Dropbox link to safely provide us copies of your one form of ID and 3 months of bank
    SO, we suggest you prepare copies of your one form of ID and 3 months of bank
    statements as soon as possible. As YOU WILL ONLY HAVE TWO DAYS to use the secure Dropbox link
    once it is emailed to you. So don’t delay, it could be worth £7,500!

The portal will be open end of April by which time you will be verified.

Click here to link to the official info from HMRC

If you have any questions about this please get in touch 01763 257882 or