Lots of us have been struggling over the last year. The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on businesses to survive and the shoulders of those who work for themselves. As there seems to be a way out of the epidemic and a light at the end of the horizon, the government continues to provide support to those who are applicable. Unfortunately, some are still excluded from this monetary support but there are others who have been looped in and can access this new grant. Have you claimed the SEISS grant 4? Let's look at how you can.
What Is SEISS?
SEISS stands for Self Employed Income Support Scheme. It's basically government support for self-employed people during the pandemic. A little bit like the furlough scheme, but not as inclusive or straight forward. As we're talking about the SEISS Grant 4, obviously there have been three grants prior to this. Unlike the previous grants, the SEISS Grant 4 is open to those who became self-employed in the 2019/20 tax year.
How Can You Claim?
If you are eligible to claim, HMRC should have been in touch. They figure out your eligibility for SEISS Grant 4 based on previous tax returns. Even if you haven't claimed any of the previous grants, you might still be able to get this. Situations change and if you need the support and can access it, it's worth doing. If you haven't been contacted but feel like you should be able to claim, contact HMRC as soon as you are able to.
SEISS Grant 4 pays those who can claim 80% of three months' average profits. There is a maximum cap of £7,500. It is paid as a single payment and covers support for February, March and April 2021. It is open for applications until June 1st, 2021. The grant is taxable, so you'll need to put this down in your self-assessment tax return. To claim your SEISS Grant 4 you must do so via the gov.uk website. You'll also need your Government Gateway user ID and password, Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), National Insurance number and UK bank details.
There will be a fifth grant which will cover May to September 2021. That grant will be slightly more complicated, with different amounts being paid depending on the reduction in trading profits. Applications will open in July and more information will be available soon.
Other Help Available
As mentioned, there are people who have fallen through the support net and have been unable to claim. If you cannot claim SEISS Grant 4, there are other options available to you. The obvious one if you are really struggling is Universal Credit. This is a monthly payment available to those on a low income or who are out of work. It is designed to help with living costs. There is also a new-style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
For businesses affected financially, there is the government-backed recovery loan scheme. This can help any UK businesses still trading that have been affected by Covid-19. The government have created the Restart Grant, giving non-essential retail businesses up to £6k when they’re allowed to reopen. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also announced £4.6bn in grants to help those businesses who need support.If you can claim it, the SEISS Grant 4 is there for you. If you are excluded or struggling beyond that, please seek out available help, advice and monetary support where you can.