HMRC applications for SEISS 4 Now Open

SEISS 4 Now Open

If you’re self-employed, you’ll be pleased to hear that more pandemic-related government funding is available, with applications for SEISS 4 now open. The latest UK Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant delivered by HMRC covers February, March and April and is worth up to £7,500. Such grants have already helped millions of self-employed workers across the country. So here’s what you need to know about the new grant and how to make a claim.

How Do I Make a Claim?

According to HMRC, “If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you data that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, letter or within the online service.”

If you feel you’re eligible to make a SEISS 4 claim but haven’t yet been contacted by HMRC, you can also check your eligibility online and submit a claim anytime from now until 11.59 on 1 June 2021 via the official application portal on GOV.UK. Checking your status is vital as you don’t want to miss out on any funding you’re entitled to during this challenging period.

Are There Any Eligibility Changes to the Grant?

The self-employed 4th grant is slightly different than the other three grants issued so far. Firstly, it’s the first grant you’ll be eligible to apply for if you commenced trading in 2019/2020, (so long as you submitted your most recent tax return by midnight on 2 March).

As the pandemic drags on, it’s perhaps not surprising that eligibility criteria for the HMRC SEISS grant have also tightened. According to the rules, you must still be trading and affected by reduced demand. Or you need to be temporarily unable to trade because of COVID-19. You also need to intend to continue trading so if you’re planning on shutting shop you’re not an eligible candidate for a grant. Most importantly of all, you must ‘reasonably believe’ that there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits.

But what exactly does ‘reasonably believe’ actually mean and what’s considered to be a ‘significant’ dip in profit? It might seem vague, but HMRC guidance says that 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. Confused? Then it might be worth contacting HMRC directly or seeking the help of professional accountants.

How Can I Validate Grant Eligibility?

As a business it’s essential to keep hold of evidence that shows you’ve been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that profits have suffered. You can get your financial documents in order yourself or contact an accountant for professional help and guidance. It’s all about proving losses as a result of the pandemic and if HMRC believes the Coronavirus didn’t significantly impact your business, you might have to repay your grant.

Is There Any Other Help Available?

In short, yes! You can also claim the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment if you’ve had to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19. This offers financial support to those forced to stay at home during the pandemic.

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