How to claim the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant

The government announced a grant for self-employed individuals and members of a partnership who have been adversely impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). Below, you will find information on how to claim the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) grant.

Be wary of any fraudulent emails or messages you may receive, containing any links or asking you for bank account details as this will most likely be a scam. If in doubt, please feel free to contact us before passing over any personal information to any third party. Personal information will only be required once you are logged on to HMRC’s secure system on the Government Gateway.

Is is possible that HMRC will contact you and invite you to claim for this grant however you do not meet all the criteria. For example, you might have been self-employed until 05 April 2019 and incorporated after the 06 April 2020 and now an employee hence no longer self-employed.

If HMRC have contacted you to say you are eligible for the SEISS grant but you do not meet all the conditions to claim the grant then you should not make a claim.

For those qualify, the scheme allows you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in one payment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 in total. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended. The grant will be subject to tax and national insurance.

If you receive the grant, you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist. HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. You can follow the steps below to help you understand how HMRC will calculate this and what you can do now.

Check whether you’re eligible to claim

You can use the online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim. You will need your unique tax payer reference (UTR) number and national insurance (NI) number. Your UTR number will be available on a tax calculation/return we have sent to you or on correspondence you have had from HMRC regarding your self assessment. Click here to see whether you’re eligible to claim.

If you’re eligible

HMRC will tell you the date you’ll be able to make a claim from and ask you to add your contact details. This information will be used to remind you when the online service will be available.

If you’re not eligible

HMRC have used the information submitted on your tax return to work out your eligibility. If you still think you should be able to claim use the online tool to ask HMRC to review your eligibility.

How much you will get?

You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

HMRC will work out your average trading profit by adding your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, and then dividing the total by three. This will then be multiplied by 80% and will be paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, capped at £7,500. The online service will tell you how HMRC have worked the grant out.

Not traded for three years? Find out how HMRC will work out trading profit if you have not traded for all three years.

How do I claim self-employment income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant?

The online system will be available for those who are eligible from 13 May 2020. If your claim is approved, you will receive a payment within six working days of making a claim.

When you make your claim, you will require the following information:

  • Self Assessment UTR number – if you do not have this and are registered with us, please email and request a copy of your tax calculation summary which also has your UTR number on it
  • National Insurance number – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online. Find out how to create a gateway ID
  • bank account number and sort code of the account you wish to receive the grant into.

HMRC will require confirmation that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). If you claim the grant, HMRC will treat this as confirmation you’re below the state aid limits. HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate.

After Your claim

Once you’ve submitted your claim, you will be told immediately if your grant is approved. You will then receive the grant in six working days.

You must keep a copy of all records including the amount claimed, the reference numbers and evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

You will need to report the grant:

  • on your Self Assessment tax return
  • as self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims
  • as self-employed income and that you’re working 16 hours a week for any tax credits claims

You can find further information on financial support here.


Please note this is the guidance as we understand at the time of the announcement. As you are aware, the information is changing on a daily basis and we cannot be held responsible if the advice or guidance changes or if our interpretation does not subsequently prove to be correct.

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