Sean Gorman, director at Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants in Shrewsbury and Telford, said anyone who ran their own business had until July 13 to apply for the government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
“Next Monday is the cut-off point for applications for the first round of grants which are available to those whose businesses have been adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis.
“Successful applicants will receive up to 80 per cent of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, with the total calculated on taxable income over the last three financial years, and you must have completed a self-assessment tax return for 2018/19 to be eligible.”
Mr Gorman said under the grant rules, applicants needed to earn more than 50 per cent of their total income from self-employment, and trading profits would have to average less than £50,000 to qualify.
“HM Revenue and Customs should have contacted all taxpayers to let you know if you were eligible, but if you haven’t been contacted and think you should have been, you can check on the government website.
“You need to take action as soon as possible or you may risk missing out on this vital support that could help keep your business afloat.”
The second SEISS grant will be open for applications from August 17, but it will be worth 70 per cent of average monthly trading profits (rather than the original 80 per cent), and will be capped at a lower rate of £2,190 per month.
“If you want to claim the second grant, you will need to confirm your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after July 14 this year, but you don’t need to have claimed the first grant in order to receive the second.
“HMRC have said they will also be introducing spot checks to make sure businesses have genuinely been adversely affected by Covid-19, and set out on their website the guidance to follow.
“It’s very important that you take careful steps to ensure your application meets the criteria, and be aware that HMRC are tightening the process to avoid false claims getting through.”