To qualify for the Self-Employed Support Scheme HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits as well as meeting financial considerations based on previously submitted tax returns.
The closing date for the third grant – 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021 – has now passed and details of the fourth grant for the next quarter will be published 3 March 2021.
The notes below set out HMRC’s interpretation of two of the criteria it has set in the past that have affected eligibility for this grant.
Impacted by reduced demand
This applies to your business if it has been impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand due to coronavirus.
For example, you:
have fewer customers or clients than you’d normally expect, resulting in reduced activity due to social distancing or government restrictions
have one or more contracts that have been cancelled and not replaced
carried out less work due to supply chain disruptions
You must not claim if the only impact on your business is increased costs. For example, if you have had to purchase face masks and cleaning supplies. This would not be considered as reduced activity, capacity or demand.
Previously trading but you are temporarily unable to do so
This applies to you if you’re temporarily unable to carry out your business activities due to coronavirus, because for example:
your business has had to close due to government restrictions
you’ve been instructed to shield or self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home (if you’ve been abroad and have to self-isolate, this does not count)
you’ve tested positive for coronavirus and are unable to work
you cannot work due to caring responsibilities, for example as a result of school or childcare facility closures
If you are unsure if you should consider making a claim for the fourth grant under SEISS please contact us after 3 March 2021 when the full details of qualifying conditions will be published.