Self-Employed Income Support 2 coming August

The Chancellor has announced a second and final taxable grant for some self-employed individuals.

This will be lower than the first by about 12.5%, and the maximum will be £6,570.

I assume that the qualifying conditions will be the same as before. This would mean that only those entitled to claim first time around will qualify again, and then only if their business is still adversely impacted during the period June to August 2020.

SEISS payments

For self-employed taxpayers who qualify and who have applied, payments are coming through.

There are a few issues still to resolve: in particular a very small number of clients incorrectly shown as ineligible. These are gradually being corrected, but although these are minor glitches in what is overall an efficient new system, this is a stressful time for anyone whose claim has been held up.

Creative and performing arts are among the hardest hit industries at present, but the self employed are resourceful folk. I am impressed at how quickly many clients have adapted to give performances or deliver lessons online, or to continue with writing or coaching during these different circumstances. (Here, the kitchen is now doubling as a venue for guitar lessons via zoom.) Also, where some are looking at other job routes, it is fascinating to learn what other talents and interests they have. I may end up with a client portfolio including bakers, gardeners and electricians.

A question mark hangs over whether the welcome but limited support offered to the self employed will be extended. The new taskforce for Cultural Recovery and Renewal is a promising step, but this will not be a swift process.

SEISS is underway

Self-employed taxpayers who qualify have been given times from which they can claim their taxable grant.

The earliest was 8am today and I was delighted when my first claiming client got in touch to let me know that this worked and was straightforward.

Anyone self employed who has not yet checked eligibility, this can be done here

Then claims are made by logging into Gateway. The option to claim will only appear in each person’s Gateway account at the ‘not before’ time assigned to them. The eligibility checker gives the earliest time to apply – these are staggered to spread claims and help the system hold up. Or if you run (or rerun) the checker when your time for claiming has already arrived, the checker will send you on to claim straight away.

A successful claim will be confirmed with a claim submitted grant awarded message on screen.

Anyone claiming should take screenshots or pictures as they go, especially of the calculation shown. There is an option at the end to save a copy of the claim reference as well.

Checking for eligibility – Self-Employed Income Support

HMRC are now offering an online checker tool for taxpayers wanting to check whether they qualify for the taxable grant:

To use this you need to input your 10-digit tax reference (UTR) and then your national insurance number. Taxpayers who are eligible are then invited to log in to give up-to-date contact details.

Those whose result shows they do not qualify can challenge this if they believe this to be incorrect – I have had at least two surprise results so far for clients whose figures show they should qualify.



Capital Gains Tax – deadline changes

Capital gains tax may be payable on the sale of an asset like a house (usually a second property rather than your main home), shares in companies, valuables like artworks, and sometimes on musical instruments.

From this tax year (April 2020), the deadline for reporting and paying tax on a ‘property’ sale (land or buildings) is now only 30 days from completion of the sale. Previously this information has gone into the next tax return, with the tax due on the relevant 31 January along with income tax. (Information will still need to be included when the tax return is done, to check there is no change to the amount of CGT when the whole year is considered.)

I shall be flagging this to all clients who I know own second properties, and any who have part of their home designated for work only (eg a studio outbuilding). The property market is quiet for now, but the new deadline will be very easy to miss.

VAT: Delay to next phase of Making Tax Digital

(There is no move to bring forward any changes to income tax returns for now and this seems unlikely to go ahead before 2022 at the earliest)

Since April 2019, VAT returns have had to be submitted using special software – either linking to a bookkeeping spreadsheet or via accounting software packages.

Phase 2, scheduled for April 2020, will make it compulsory to use ‘digital links’ to capture the total figures for the VAT return from bookkeeping entries – no typing in total figures for the return.

Yesterday there was a very welcome 11th-hour announcement that this next phase, MTD2, would be postponed to April 2021. One change fewer is certainly useful at this point.