SEISS: Self-employed people warned grants are taxable – full details | Personal Finance | Finance


SEISS was initially established earlier in the year as the impacts of COVID-19 first began to be felt by the self-employed. Firstly offering support through two grants, the government then took the decision to provide two further grants through a scheme extension. And the Treasury alongside Rishi Sunak has increased the support available this week, to cover 80 percent of average trading profits for all three months.

This will be up to a maximum of £7,500 to provide support to the self-employed where possible. 

But for those who are looking to claim SEISS in the coming months, being aware of the tax burden people may have to shoulder is particularly important. 

The government has said the grants made available will be considered as taxable income, so it is worth being aware of this to avoid a nasty surprise.

Furthermore, the grant is also subject to National Insurance contributions as well. 

READ MORE: SEISS: Third grant unveiled by Rishi Sunak – full details explained

The third grant covers a three month period from November 2020 to January 2021, providing important support to many, particularly amid the second lockdown.

Self-employed people can expect this to be paid out in a single instalment. 

However, Mr Warne said as lockdown measures continue, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak may come under pressure to examine those who have so far been excluded from the scheme.

He added: “These groups include those who are newly self-employed – claimants must have filed a tax return for 2018/19 to be eligible for SEISS.

“They include those who have other income of more than 50 percent of their total income, as well as those with average annual trading profits in excess of £50,000.

“It does seem strange that the last of these groups should be excluded from help, especially when there is no equivalent support system, aside from the furlough scheme.

“Such employees do, of course, receive a capped amount but are not excluded.

“Another notable group that has received no help is individuals who operate as contractors through personal service companies. This is unlikely to change anytime soon.”

Mr Warne concluded: “This round of lockdown is likely to see more redundancies as firms look to cut costs and landlords increasingly share some of the pain as we head deeper into what many are predicting will be a double-dip recession.”

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, this week announced the extension of furlough and further support for the self-employed.

He said: “I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK – and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed.

“It’s clear the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of any restrictions, which is why we have decided to go further with our support.

“Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter.”

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