Guidance has now been issued on the ’second and final grant’ of the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS). The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 70% of your average monthly trading profits (down from 80% for the first grant), paid out in a single instalment covering three months, capped at £6,570 (down from £7,500). As before, if you receive the grant you can continue to work.
You can make a claim for the second grant if your business has been adversely affected by COVID-19 on or after 14 July 2020. This may be because you:
- are unable to work;
- are on sick leave;
- have caring responsibilities;
- have had to scale down or temporarily stop trading; or
- have incurred additional costs.
If your business was affected before 14 July 2020 but not afterwards, you are not eligible for the second grant. Claiming the second grant is not dependent on having claimed the first grant.
As with the first claim, there are several other conditions which must be met. HMRC will contact all individuals who they believe qualify for the scheme and invite them to apply through the online portal on the GOV.UK website. The scheme opens on 17 August and will run to 19 October 2020.
HMRC is now looking into incorrect and fraudulent claims and penalties for incorrect claims will be based on a percentage of the claim, ranging from 0% for innocent errors to 100% for deliberate errors. Therefore, it is important that you keep evidence to substantiate the claim and if you believe you have received an overpayment or received a grant to which you were not entitled, you should notify HMRC promptly.
For partners who paid their grant into the partnership, the partners are jointly and severally liable so HMRC can assess any of the partners. It is important therefore that you speak to your fellow partners to ensure that any claims received were correct and they have not been overpaid or were ineligible.
We can help you if you would like advice on the qualifying conditions, how to apply for the second grant or how to notify HMRC of an overpayment or error.
For more information on the SEISS or advice for your law firm, please get in touch with Patricia Kinahan at email@example.com or 01242 237661.