Self-employed individuals claiming the third Coronavirus grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) may be unaware of important changes made to the qualifying criteria for the grant.

To make a claim for the third SEISS grant your business must have had a new or a continuing impact from Coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021 and one which you reasonably believe will have a significant reduction in your profits.

You may only claim if your business is adversely affected by Coronavirus and you are currently trading. Either of the following must also apply:

  • You are impacted by reduced demand due to the Coronavirus.
    • Reduced demand means less work is available despite you actively looking for new work.
  • You are temporarily unable to trade due to the Coronavirus. Being unable to trade includes:
    • Being forced to close due to restrictions, illness or shielding or having to look after family.

Broadly, no third grant should be claimed if the business is unaffected or if the business is only affected by the owner’s actions. HMRC gives a range of examples of situations where conditions to claim the third SEISS grant are met and where they are not.

Included in the examples is a case where a business was interrupted by its owner’s self-isolation as a result of returning from a holiday.

HMRC example: A dentist returns from a holiday abroad and has to self-isolate for 14 days due to quarantine rules. As this is the only impact on her business, she is not eligible to claim the third grant. This is because reduced demand due to self-isolation after foreign travel is not included in the eligibility criteria.

An accountant also features.

HMRC example: An accountant reduces his business activity because he wants to partially retire. He reasonably believes this will have a significant reduction on his trading profits. He is not eligible for the third grant because the reduced business activity was not caused by Coronavirus.

Links to our guides

COVID-19: HMRC compliance round up
HMRC have introduced a number of concessions this year to help mitigate the burden on taxpayers due to COVID-19. They cover tax payment deferral, late filing, penalties and appeals. 

COVID-19: Government Support Tracker
We try and keep this updated in real-time for you.

External links 

HMRC: how your trading conditions affect your eligibility for the SEISS