Last chance to claim final grant lifeline to the self-employed


The self-employed continue to trade under difficult conditions despite the lifting of lockdown – but affected freelancers have one last chance to claim up to £7,500 in the final wave of government support.

Restaurants and high streets might once again be open, but changes in habits as a result of the pandemic have seen profits drop for all manner of businesses.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) could lift some of that burden for freelancers – but time is running out to apply, with the deadline for applications fast approaching.

Here, Andrew Diver, head of tax for Beatons Group, urges those who are yet to apply to take advantage of the scheme.

The situation

Three separate lockdowns have had serious impacts on businesses large and small – although it is fair to say the self-employed and freelancers have suffered more than many.

The sector contributed more than £300billion a year to the UK economy pre-pandemic, but data has now revealed almost two-thirds of freelancers over the age of 35 saw a decrease in turnover last year.

It was a similar situation for the under 35s too – with half suffering a financial hit.

Those looking for government assistance found their employment status made it more difficult than most – with those not paid through PAYE facing even more hurdles to pass to receive support.

That included those who were self-employed before the pandemic even hit, with many finding they were unable to make a claim as they were required to have filed Self-Assessment tax forms in 2018/19.

The grant

A helping hand has been extended to those in need through the SEISS, with the fifth and final grant for the self-employed now open for applications.

Through the scheme, those anticipating a significant impact on profits due to the coronavirus pandemic this summer (May 15 – September 30) are eligible to receive up to £7,500 in government grants.

Those whose turnover is down by 30% or more can apply to receive 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, up to the £7,500 limit.

Alternatively, those whose turnover is less than 30% down are eligible for 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, with a maximum grant amount of £2,850.

Who can apply?

The scheme is only open to those who traded in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 tax years, who do not trade through a limited company or trust.

Applicants must have submitted their 2019/20 tax return on or before March 2 this year, and have trading profits of no more than £50,000, at least equal to their non-trading income.

We urge anyone who qualifies for the grant to get their applications in soon – as the deadline for applications, via the Government Gateway, is September 30.

Those in need of assistance with their SEISS claim can look no further than Beatons – contact us on 01473 659777 for help with your application.