The next SEISS taxable grant, the fourth offered, may be claimed later in April.
Eligibility based on tax-return figures can be checked here
I am suggesting that clients check eligibility as soon as possible. If eligibility is not showing as expected, there is a secure webchat to HMRC which can be used to query the outcome. One client with an incorrect result has already queried this and we expect it to be resolved by the end of April.
For making a claim, I recommend that clients wait until at least 1 May (a delay of only a few days – claims open at the very end of April) to decide whether they should make a claim. By that time, any self-employed income for the months February, March and April 2021 will be known, and it will be possible to compare to previous years where needed.
The claim window will remain open until the end of May. HMRC’s form will include a declaration that during the three months to 30 April this year your business income has been adversely affected by the pandemic. There are examples here to help taxpayers decide whether they qualify.
This grant will also take into account self-employed (sole trader/partnership) profit figures from the tax return to 5 April 2020. This opens up the claim to some newer self-employed taxpayers. As with previous payments, eligibility on the figures alone does not mean that taxpayers qualify. As before there will be questions and declarations in the online form, which need to be answered at the time of application.
Anyone claiming must still be self employed, so must either still have some self-employed income, or be intending to restart once the rules allow.
There will be a further payment offered in summer, relating to May to July 2021.
With regard to the previous SEISS grants, some clients have asked me whether they can/should repay any. If for any reason the information given when you claimed a grant was incorrect at the time of the claim, it is compulsory to make an appropriate repayment. It is not necessary to revisit claims ‘in hindsight’, provided claims were made based on correct information or reasonable assumptions at that time. Some taxpayers will have ended up with higher profits during the last twelve months when they include their SEISS receipts: that does not automatically mean that anything should be repaid.
Information on repaying SEISS is here
HMRC allows voluntary repayment for any reason, that is simply if a taxpayer chooses to pay back some or all of the money received. Any repayment does not count as tax paid. But because SEISS counts as part of taxable profits, it would lower any tax payable.
Anything received from SEISS 1, 2 and 3 must be included in the tax return to 5 April 2021. This is the case whatever date is used for your self-employed accounts. I am also asking all clients who received SEISS to supply brief details (a few sentences only) in support of their SEISS claims so that this is recorded in the tax return in the additional information. This, together with bank statements, contract or diary details and any other relevant notes, makes up supporting records for SEISS claims. Most of these are anyway part of the usual tax records needed in an ‘ordinary year’ (remember those?)