From late July the service for claiming the fifth SEISS grant will open. The grant covers lost or reduced earnings from May to September 2021, offering up to 80% of trading profits or £7,500 over three months.

You can only claim if your business profit has been impacted by Covid-19 between May 1st 2021 and September 30th 2021.

If you claim, you must provide the appropriate records as evidence of the impact on your business.

If you are eligible you will be contacted by HMRC from the 3rd week of July to be told your personal claim date, d not try and claim before being given this date. As any submissions before your personal claim date will not be processed. Eligible individuals can claim from this date up until the claims service closes on September 30, 2021.

Claiming the fifth SEISS grant

it’s important that individuals claim the grant themselves and promptly as not doing could result in delays or the grant not being paid.

HRMC will be contacting those eligible in different ways depending on their circumstances:

  • Individuals who became newly self-employed in 2019-20 may receive a letter asking for proof of identity and trade information via dropbox. As part of these pre-claim verification checks, HMRC will call the customer too. They will not be able to make a claim if they do not provide the requested information.
  • HMRC has already emailed customers who have claimed SEISS before, with instructions on how to prepare for their claim.
  • All customers who may be eligible for the fifth SEISS grant will soon receive an email, letter or SMS with their personal claim date and instructions on hot to access the claims service via GOV.UK from late July.
  • A small number of customers will receive a letter asking them to call HMRC if they want to make their claim. The online service will be open for these customers, so they must call using the number in the letter. This is different to the pre-claim verification checks.


Individuals whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant with 80% of three month’s average trading profits, capped at £7,500. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, coped at £2,850.

Turnover includes takings, fees, sales or money earned or received by the self-employed claimant’s business.

Anyone choosing to make a claim will need their turnover figures for:

  • A pre-covid year, that represents normal trading. This should be 2019-20 or 2018-19.

How the grant is treated

The grant is subject to income tax and self-employed national insurance contributions. It must be reported on your 2021 to 2022 self-assessment tax return.

The grant also counts towards your annual allowance for pension contributions. SEISS grants are not counted as ‘access to public funds’ and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

Who Can Claim

Find out if you’re able to claim for SEISS grant by checking that you meet all criteria in stages 1, 2 and 3.

Stage 1: Your trading status and when you must have traded. 

You must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

You must also have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 – 2020
  • 2020 – 2021

You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or trust.

Stage 2: Tax returns and trading profits. 

You must have:

  • submitted your 2019 to 2020 tax return on or before March 2, 2021.
  • Trading profits of no more than £50,000
  • Trading profits at least equal to your non-trading income

Non-trading income is any money that you make outside of your business. For example, if you also have a part-time job or pension.

If you’re not eligible based on the trading profits in your 2019 to 2020 return, we’ll look back at previous years.

HMRC will contact you in mid-July if you’re eligible for the grant based on your tax returns.

Stage 3: Deciding in you can claim 

When you make your claim you must tell HMRC that:

  • Intend to keep trading in 2021 to 2022
  • Reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to the impact of covid-19 between May 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021.
John Stolliday
John Stolliday

John Stolliday runs The Financial Management Centre in Luton East. John is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and bookkeeper (MICB) with UK and Middle East experience in the construction and building services sectors, handling company turnovers up to £100m and staff of 15. John has held senior roles, up to board level, in civil engineering, industrial engineering, pipelines, general building and building maintenance companies.