For several months, many self-employed people were hopeful the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) eligibility criteria would change for SEISS grant four. Directors of companies and the newly self-employed are among many self-employed people who have not been eligible for any of the SEISS grants to date. After several months of wondering whether more people could benefit from SEISS this year, Rishi Sunak finally announced a number of changes for SEISS grant four in his Budget announcement this month. Read on to find out more about the eligibility criteria for the scheme’s next grant.
Who is now eligible for SEISS grant four?
Prior to the Chancellor’s Budget announcement, many were hopeful the SEISS eligibility criteria would change to include the newly-self employed, who previously missed out on grants one to three.
To the delight of many, the Chancellor announced in the Budget people who submitted their tax returns for 2019 to 2020 by March 2 will now be eligible for SEISS grant four.
This means an estimated 600,000 newly self-employed people will now be eligible to claim the fourth SEISS grant.
Tommy McNally, tax expert and founder of TommysTax.com, told Express.co.uk: “Self-employed workers who’d so far been unable to claim any Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants may have more luck with the fourth instalment, as its eligibility criteria will accept those who filed 2019 to 2020 tax returns by midnight on March 2, 2021.
“This means the estimated 600,000 newly self-employed workers who hadn’t been in business long enough to claim the previous grants may now be able to claim.”
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Claimants must also declare they “reasonably believe” there will be a “significant reduction” in trading profits, due to “reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus”.
Although the eligibility criteria for SEISS grant four has now been widened, several self-employed people will still not be eligible for the scheme.
Tom Moyes, a partner in the employment team at Blacks Solicitors, told Express.co.uk: “The previous schemes have only been eligible to individuals who met certain criteria.
“They have been criticised for failing to assist those who became self-employed after April 5, 2019.
“The fourth grant is now open for individuals who became self-employed during the 2019 to 2020 tax year.
“Other than this, the eligibility criteria is the same. Trading profits must be no more than £50,000.00.
“The individual must be currently trading but be impacted by reduced turnover due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or the individual must be temporarily unable to trade due to the pandemic.
“The individual must declare that they intend to continue trading and that they reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in the trading profits due to the pandemic. HMRC will directly contact eligible individuals.”