Self Employed Income Support Grant news…

Coronavirus, Sole Trader,

Call me old fashioned, but I preferred the days when we learnt about new legislation by listening to Rishi Sunak, or the PM. Instead this week we needed to follow Martin Lewis (of MoneySavingExpert.com) on Twitter to get the latest news on the fourth grant of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme…

It was promised back in October 2020 that details of the fourth grant under the SEISS scheme would be released nearer the time it became available.

Under ‘exclusive’ news provided to him by the Treasury, Lewis has announced via a Twitter video that the details of the fourth grant won’t be announced until the Budget on the 3rd March. This is a whole month after the grant period starts, which covers the┬áperiod February, March and April.

The extended delay could suggest that further changes are being made to the criteria of the grant, the assumption being that if it was to be unchanged, an announcement could be made without any problem.

If there are changes coming, it may well be that the delay until the 3rd March is to allow time for HMRC to process the many, many 2019/20 tax returns that will provide them with details of all of the self employed who were excluded from the scheme’s earlier grants, having started their self employment too late for HMRC to calculate any entitlement.

The announcement this week that no penalties would be imposed for filing after the 31st January may well have impacted on the announcement date. Will it mean that anyone who submitted after the 31st January is excluded from the scheme, even if they would otherwise be included? It would be a harsh decision to impose, and seems unlikely given the delayed announcement date.

There is also a chance that more support could be included as part of the delayed announcement, potentially to include some of the 3 million company Directors who have so far been excluded from all support to date. We can hope!

We shall see what is announced on the 3rd March, and let you know as soon as we do, but our advice in the meantime would be to get your Return in by the 31st January to ensure you are not suddenly excluded for being late, even if you don’t have to face a penalty.

And perhaps follow Martin Lewis on Twitter, who seems to have a hotline to Rishi Sunak’s desk…

 

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