COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

What is it?

The SEISS will provide a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months.

Who is it for?

You must be a self-employed individual (who fills in the self employment pages of a self assessment tax return) or a member of a partnership. You must also meet the following criteria:

  • you have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 on or before 23 April 2020
  • you have traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • you are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

How much will I get, and when?

The taxable grant will be 80% of your average profits from the following tax years (where applicable):

  • 2016-17
  • 2017-18
  • 2018-19

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

HMRC will pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment. The system for making applications is still under development, and the current estimates suggest the payments will not be made until June 2020.

How to apply

Applications cannot be made yet. When the scheme is ready, HMRC will contact you if you are eligible and invite you to apply online.

You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.