30 November 2020 16:38
Get the stories that matter to you sent straight to your inbox with our daily newsletter. Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Self-employed workers across Scotland can now apply for the third UK Government's Self-Employment Support Scheme grant (SEISS). The financial support is available to those whose businesses have been impacted as a result of Covid-19 and provided a subsidy, based on payment history and tax records, to help them through the pandemic. The grant has been released gradually to help people at different points throughout the crisis with around 126,000 Scots already receiving financial help from the SEISS grant, making an average claim of £2,500. Applications for the first grant of up to £7,500closed on July 13, 2020 and the second, worth up to £6,570, closed on October 19, 2020.
Claims for the third round of support opened on Monday, November 30, 2020 and will close on January 29, 2021. (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto) Who can apply for the third SEISS grant? The eligibility criteria for the third grant remains the same as the first two, which means if you qualified for them, you qualify for this. Similarly, if you were excluded from the first two grants, unfortunately, you cannot apply for the third SEISS grant. Official UK Government guidelines state that: "To be eligible for the third grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust." It also adds that if you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant. You must have traded in both tax years: 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus You must also declare that: you intend to continue to trade you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits In order to claim, you must reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period November 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021. You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected. What counts as a significant reduction to trading profits? Before you make a claim, you must decide if the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot make this decision for you because your individual and wider business circumstances will need to be considered when deciding whether the reduction is significant. You should wait until you have a reasonable belief that your trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before you make your claim. This is something money-saving expert, Martin Lewis, recently covered on his Money Show Live TV programme. (Image: ITV) Martin said: "The declaration criteria is much stricter on this grant than the prior two, you used to just have to declare your business had been adversely affected." The financial guru pointed out that anyone applying must first declare a "significant reduction in trading profits" since November 1st due to COVID. If you're unsure about that, Martin's advice is to "wait until you've got a reasonable belief that's going to happen" and then apply - remember, the closing date for the third grant is January 29, 20201. He also advised self-employed workers to keep evidence to "show the impact" and explained that the drop in profit part of the declaration has to be due to "lower demand, activity or capacity, so fewer customers or cancelled contracts, or you have been temporarily unable to trade." This could also include following government guidance to shield or self-isolate along with lockdown restrictions instructing a business to close. Martin encouraged anyone who may be confused by the change in the declaration statement to compare their trading from this year to this time last year (2019) in an effort to understand and clearly highlight the impact. He also recommended keeping as many receipts and as much documented evidence as possible to help with the SEISS claim. How much will I get from the third SEISS grant? The UK Government will cover 80 per cent of your trading profits over a three-month period from November 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021. The maximum you can receive is £7,500. The UK Government has also announced there will be a fourth SEISS grant covering February to April 2021, but has not yet confirmed how much that will be. You don't have to repay the SEISS grants if you're eligible, but it will be subject to income tax and self-employed national insurance. Self-employed workers who are struggling can receive the payout as well as claim Universal Credit, but it will be classed as income and may affect how much you receive in benefits. How do I apply? You can make your claim via the GOV.UK website here. Self-employed workers will need the following info to claim: Self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR) – if you don't have this, find out how to get your lost UTR National insurance number – if you don't have this, find out how to get your lost national insurance number Government Gateway user ID and password – if you don't have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) - bank account number, sort code, name on the account, your address linked to your bank account For full details about the third SEISS grant, visit the GOV.UK website here.