22ND JULY, 2020

I'm Not Eligible For The SEISS Grants. What Else I Can Claim?

Self-employed but not eligible for SEISS? Don’t panic!

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we all live our lives in very fundamental ways. It has been a particularly unsettling time for everyone, and whilst staying healthy is our primary concern, for many who are self-employed business has dried up overnight only adding to the worry.

The Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was unveiled back in April offering grants for those who have lost business revenue. However, some people like those who are freelance PAYE, those who started as self-employed very recently and those who set up limited companies are often falling through the cracks.

If you are self-employed but aren’t able to claim SEISS then you’ll hopefully find this article useful. However, it’s an area that is often being reviewed and updated, so we strongly recommended checking the Gov.uk website regularly.

Don't forget the latest Budget statements unveiled on 8th July

On the 8th July the Chancellor unveiled his ‘mini Budget’ consisting of a range of measures to help businesses as the economy starts reopening:

Job retention bonus

A £1,000 bonus is being paid to businesses for every employee who is brought back from furlough and who is still employed by the end of January 2021.

Apprenticeship bonus

Businesses in England can receive £2,000 if they take on an apprentice who is aged under 25. For those who are over 25, it’s £1,500 per apprentice.

Lower VAT

VAT on attractions, food and accommodation has been cut from 20% to 5%. This will remain in force until the 12th January 2021.

“Eat Out to Help Out”

This temporarily offers diners 50% off per meal (up to £10 per head) throughout August if they dine on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Find out more and register your business here.

SEISS grants in a nutshell

HMRC has already offered a grant to self-employed individuals and partners equalling 80% of their average trading profits for three months, up to £2,500 per month (taxable). This is the first grant, and applications for this have now closed.

However, in August a second SEISS grant will be available for those who meet certain conditions. This one will equate to 70% of average trading profits for three months, capped at £2,190 per month.

The SEISS page of the government website has the full details so we won’t repeat them here.

I definitely don’t qualify for this second grant but my business is struggling. How else can I inject some cash?

The first thing is to understand what other options are available. Then you can see if there are any which would best suit your business. Many of these aren’t new but it’s still worth refreshing your memory.

As a quick guide, options include:

Bounce back loans

The business Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is designed to help small businesses start operating again post-coronavirus. It offers government-guaranteed loans from £2,000 to £50,000 with nothing to pay in the first year.

To qualify, you will need to have a business account with one of the participating lenders, or sometimes a feeder account will suffice.

Find out more about Bounce Back Loans.

Deferral of the self-assessment tax payment that’s due by the 31st July

You also now have the option to defer your second payment on account if you’re:

  • Registered for UK Self Assessment and
  • Going to struggle to meet the 31st July 2020 deadline due to the impact of COVID-19

Those who can make the payment in the usual way are still able to do so. Find out more.

Business rates holiday

There will be no business rates to pay for the 2020/21 tax year if your business is in leisure, hospitality or retail. The retail relief specifically is extended to properties such as theatres, museums, theatres, hotels and gyms, regardless of their rateable value.

See if your business qualifies for coronavirus business rates relief.

Coronavirus business support finder

With the coronavirus situation constantly evolving, it’s easy to feel a little lost and what we’ve included here is by no means exhaustive. To help, we recommend using the government’s business support finder tool to see what support is available for you and your business.

R&D Tax Credits

Don’t forget that if your company has invested any money in research and development over the last two years, then you may well be able to claim back a portion of the costs.

A quick guide to the R&D Tax Credits scheme

Unveiled back in the early 2000s, the R&D Tax Credits scheme has been a popular way for companies to claw back a large amount of their R&D expenditure.

Essentially, if a UK company has invested in one or more projects that looks to make a scientific or technological advancement in their field then a claim will likely follow. Most companies achieve this by developing a brand new product, service or process, or by appreciably upgrading an existing one. The whole point is that there was some degree of uncertainty when the project was taken on, regardless of whether it was ultimately successful.

The relief is offered either against a company’s Corporation Tax bill if they made a profit, or as a payable credit for those who made a loss. The scope of eligible projects that can attract R&D Tax Credits is huge, and applicable costs include staff wages and over-time, employer NICs and pension payments, overheads and materials. Plus with as much of 33 pence in every £1 of R&D expenditure claimable, there’s a serious amount of cash potentially on offer.

Whilst we recognise that R&D Tax Credits won’t be applicable to all businesses, the scheme is in fact open to all UK registered companies. As long as an application is accepted by HMRC, payment can be fast too, taking only around 28 days.

Think your business might benefit from R&D Tax Credits?

We strongly recommend reading our R&D Tax Credits page then checking out our Tax Cloud portal for businesses to make a fully supported claim. You may also find our recent blog useful too: How Does Using Tax Cloud Compare To Making A DIY Claim For R&D Tax Credits?

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
Jillian Chambers Jillian Chambers Technical Analyst/Writer
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson Technical Analyst Manager
Rabia Mohammad Rabia Mohammad Corporate Tax Associate