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Second Self-Employment Income Support Scheme now open

Millions of self-employed workers in the UK whose trade has been affected by coronavirus can now apply for a second support grant from the government.

The second Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant will pay up to £6,750, in what Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said will be the final payment. More than 3 million people are thought to be eligible for this second grant. The chancellor has said 95% of all self-employed workers were to be covered by the scheme. The first grant in May saw £7.8bn in taxable grants claimed by 2.7 million people.

Self-employed people can apply for a taxable grant worth 70% of average monthly trading profits which will be paid out in a single instalment covering three months of income. Payments will be capped at £6,750 in total.

Businesses that have traded for three years with profits of no more than £50,000 are eligible for the scheme. More than half of a claimant's income needs to come from self-employment. Those not eligible based on their 2018 to 2019 self-assessment tax return, will be assessed according to previous tax years going back to 2016/2017.

People who earn freelance PAYE income, directors of limited companies or those operating through a trust and the newly self-employed will not be covered by the scheme.

Applicants will need to confirm their business has been affected by the virus on or after July 14 but they do not need to have taken the first grant to be eligible for the second. Those receiving a grant can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work.

Eligible applicants can make a claim for the second grant up to 19 October 2020. It doesn’t need to be paid back, but will be subject to income tax and National Insurance contributions.

Applicants must make the claim themselves through the HMRC at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme and not use an agent or accountant to act on their behalf.

ENDS