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UK COVID-19 Support for Self-Employed and Partnership Members

To combat the malignant economic consequences of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the UK Government has announced a series of support schemes and reliefs for businesses, employees and self-employed persons.

One of them is a Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), designed to support sole traders and partnership members suffering a loss of profits due to the coronavirus. 

What is a Self-employment Income Support Scheme?

SEISS is three-months financial support from the UK Government (with may be extended if needed), equal to 80% of the average of your trading profits from the last 3 tax years up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Am I eligible for a Self-employment Income Support Scheme?

You can receive financial support under the SEISS if all of the following apply:

1) you are self-employed or a member of the partnership;

2) you have sent your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year of 2018-2019 (or will do so by April 23, 2020);

3) you traded in the tax year of 2019-2020;

4) you are trading during the application for the SEISS or would have been trading if not for COVID-19;

5) you intend to be trading in the tax year of 2020-2021;

6) you suffered a loss of trading profits because of the coronavirus pandemic;

7) one of the following is true:

            - your trading profits or partnership trading profits in 2018-2019 are less than £50,000 AND are more than half of your total taxable income; or

            - average from your taxable profits in 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 is less than £50,000 AND more than half of your average taxable income in the same period.

I am a sole member of a company (e.g., an LTD) and pay myself a salary and/or dividends. Am I eligible for the SEISS?

No, but you might be eligible for the Job Retention Scheme

How much can I get through the SEISS? 

The amount you get equals to: 

(Profits in 2016-2017 + profits in 2017-2018 + profits in 2018-2019) / 3 * 0,8 / 12;

but not more than £2,500 per month.

Will I be eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme if I have traded for less than 3 years? 

If you have not traded in some of the periods (2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019), only periods for which you have filed Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return will be used to calculate how much you will get via the SEISS.

How can I apply for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme?

If you are eligible for the SEISS financial support, the HM Revenue & Customs will contact you directly and ask you to claim the grant online. 

Once the application is processed, it will be paid to your bank account in one installment. 

If you have been contacted by the HM Revenue & Customs and need help with your SEISS application, filing your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return or other labour/employment advice, members of our legal network would be delighted to help

Disclaimer: the information in this article is provided for informational purposes only. Information in this article may differ from the official position of the UK public authorities. You should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, trading, financial, or other advice. 

Nik Kliapets, Legal Counsel at Legal Nodes

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