SEISS extended: Will Rishi Sunak extend the self-employed scheme for grant 5?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) in early 2020 and it has since provided three taxable grants to eligible claimants. A fourth grant is scheduled to cover February to April 2021 and the Government has now confirmed how much the grant will be worth. Further details about self-employment support over the coming months is expected in the Budget later on Wednesday, March 3.

How much will SEISS grant four be worth?

The third self-employed grant was worth 80 percent of monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500.

Since applications closed for SEISS grant three at the end of January, self-employed people have had a long wait to find out what kind of support will be available to them over the coming months.

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Budget announcement on Wednesday, the Treasury finally confirmed how much the fourth SEISS grant will be worth for February to April.

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SEISS grant four will be worth 80 percent of average monthly trading profits for the three-month period, capped at £7,500 in total.

Ahead of the Budget, Rishi Sunak said the Government’s support schemes have provided a “lifeline” for swathes of people during months of lockdown.

Mr Sunak said: “Our Covid support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK.

“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”

However, the SEISS scheme has previously faced significant criticism for excluding swathes of self-employed people.

The Treasury has now announced that hundreds of thousands more people will be eligible for the grants this time around.

Tax return data for 2019/20 is now available, meaning a number of newly self-employed people will be eligible for the scheme.

More than 600,000 extra people are now expected to be eligible for the fourth grant.

Rebecca Thornley-Gibson, Partner at law firm DMH Stallard, told “The fourth and fifth grants of the SEISS will now allow a further category of recently self-employed individuals to benefit from the SEISS.

“The first three grants of the SEISS excluded self-employed individuals who were not self-employed in the 2018/2019 tax year and had therefore not submitted 2018/19 tax returns showing self-employed income.

 “It is expected that a further 600,000 will now be able to claim a lump sum grant capped at £7,500 based on pre-Covid trading profits.”

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