Applications have opened today for this.
The numbers involved are the same as for the first grant – based on the same year’s profits, with 80%, to a maximum of £7,500, available. To make a claim for the third grant, it is not necessary to have claimed before if you are eligible at this point. No new categories of taxpayer have been added as being eligible.
Taxpayers must meet a number of conditions, some of which are new. In particular, they must reasonably believe their trading profits will be significantly reduced between November and the end of January due to coronavirus and:
- either be currently trading but are impacted by reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or have been previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
- declare that they intend to continue to trade, or restart trading, and that they reasonably believe that the impact on their business will cause a significant reduction in their trading profits
- only claim if the reduction in profits is caused by reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or inability to trade due to coronavirus – reduction in profits due to increased costs (such as having to buy masks, new technology or longer working hours) does not make a business eligible for this third SEISS grant.
HMRC ask claimants this time to make ‘an honest assessment about whether they reasonably believe their trading profits will be significantly reduced’ compared to what they would otherwise expect during November December January. They ask that taxpayers consider their ‘wider business circumstances’. There is no definition given of what ‘significant’ means here. For taxpayers who have other/new types of income, eg a different, salaried temporary job, it is ultimately a personal decision whether to claim or not.
HMRC’s SEISS helpline 0800 024 1222 is open 8am – 4pm weekdays.
Business must have been impacted on or after 1 November 2020 and claimants need to keep evidence of the impact (eg cancelled work). For taxpayers who are uncertain, my suggestion would be to wait until later in the claim window, which closes 29 January 2021, before deciding – by that point it should be possible to compare profits for those three months with those from a year ago. Proof of the impact of coronavirus (the figures themselves and cancellations or eg diary records) become part of taxpayers’ records for tax purposes.
As before, any amount claimed will be subject to income tax and national insurance in the return for the year to 5 April 2021.
There are some examples on GOV.UK to help taxpayers considering whether they should be claiming and claims can be made here:
A fourth grant is planned for February 2021.