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Martin Lewis was on hand to answer questions on a wealth of money matters today. Appearing on The Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5Live, he addressed the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant.
The online service for the third SEISS grant opened today, with those eligible now able to make a claim.
There is a deadline for doing this, meaning those wishing to claim the emergency support must do so on or before January 29, 2021.
The third taxable grant covers the period of November 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021.
It is worth 80 percent of the person’s average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.
This is the third grant available, and there have been changes when it comes to the rules.
It’s something which the Money Saving Expert founder addressed on the airwaves this week.
Discussing the third grant, Martin pointed out that eligibility criteria remain exactly the same to the first and second grants, however, there has been a change in the declaration people must make.
“If you could get that, you can get this. If you were excluded from that, you’re excluded from this,” he said of the previous grants.
“The big difference this time around is what you have to declare when you sign up.
“So it used to just be you had to declare your business had been adversely affected just to covid.”
Explaining how it’s changed, he continued: “The first thing you need to do, is the first criteria when you go into the declaration if you’re eligible, is that you need to declare you’ve had a significant trading profits reduction in the current tax year due to covid.
“And that is a reduction from November 1 onwards,” he continued, adding that it’s until roughly the end of January when this period for the grant ends.
“If you do, and that’s right, then you can make the declaration, with a couple of caveats coming later.”
Martin added that if a person is unsure, the government is suggesting self-employed people should put off making the declaration, and instead wait until they have a “reasonable belief”, but they must of course still apply prior to the deadline in January.
“They’re also asking people to keep evidence to show the impact on your business,” he added.
The government website states: “In order to claim, you must reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period 1 November to 29 January 2021.
“You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.”
Martin went on to give some examples of what could count as qualifying reasons.
He said: “Now I said you need to have that trading profit reduction, but then it’s quite specific – what has caused that reduction?
That must be either due to lower demand, activity or capacity. So examples of that [are] fewer customers, cancelled contracts that you haven’t replaced, or issues with the supply chain.
“Or, that you have temporarily been unable to trade – so that could be due to government restrictions or lockdowns, because you’ve been instructed to shield or self-isolate.”
He added that instructions to shield or self-isolate due to returning from abroad wouldn’t count.
The financial journalist continued: “Or that you’ve have parental or caring responsibilities for example your children’s school has been closed so you’ve been unable to go and trade because of that. They would all be legitimate reasons.
“What’s interesting here, what specifically doesn’t count this time and did count in the prior two grants, is a cost increase.”
The Emma Barnett Show airs weekdays on BBC Radio 5Live from 10am.
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