HMRC has published new guidance to help the self-employed calculate their turnover for making a claim under the 5th Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. The final date for making a claim for the 5th grant will be 30 September 2021.
The figures will be used to compare turnover in the pandemic year from April 2020 – April 2021. The turnover for the ‘pandemic’ year can be calculated starting on any date from 1 to 6 April 2020 for a period of 12 months. For example, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 or from 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021.
HMRC states that you can:
- refer to your 2020 to 2021 Self-Assessment tax return if you’ve completed it
- check your accounting software (if you use any)
- go through your bookkeeping or spreadsheet records that cover your self-employment invoices and payments received
- check the bank account you use for your business to account for money coming in from customers
- ask your accountant or tax adviser (if you have one)
COVID-19 support payments such as previous SEISS grants, and local authority or devolved administration grants should not be included in the turnover figure.
This ‘pandemic’ year turnover should then be compared to a previous year's turnover, known as the ‘reference’ year. For most self-employed the turnover reported in 2019-20 should be used as the reference year. However, this is not always the case and if 2019-20 was not a normal year for the business in question, the turnover reported in 2018-19 can be used.
Self-employed persons whose turnover, as set out above, has fallen by more than 30% will continue to qualify for the 80% grant, capped at £7,500. Those with decreases in turnover of less than 30% will be restricted to a 30% claim, capped at £2,850. When making a claim, the online service will ask for turnover figures and compare them. The claims service will then tell the applicant if they can claim the higher or lower grant amount.
The SEIS scheme is only open to those self-employed with annual profits of less than £50,000 and who receive at least half their income from self-employment.