Another sunny day, another day done of the lockdown. Lloyds Bounceback loans continue to be received but I'm not hearing of clients who bank with other banks receiving theirs. Hopefully wheels will turn before the bank holiday weekend.
The topic of conversation today has been the Cinderella of all the Government support packages - the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Over the last 24 hours there has been some breaking news, so what do we know ? Apologies, this is 'dry but important' stuff.
It applies to the self employed
Self employed income must be more than 50% of total income.
Self employed Income must be below £50,000.
You need to have traded in 2018/19 (and submitted the 2018/19 tax return before 23 April 2020)
You need to have traded in 2019/20
You have either traded or intend to trade in 2020/21
Your business must be adversely affected by coronavirus (no definition of what 'adversely affected' means - it could be extra costs, it could be lower income, it could be 'more hassle')
Your average self employed profits for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 are added together and then divided by three to give an average annual profit. 80% of that will be taken, divided by 12 and multiplied by three. In other words, 80% of three months average profits.
There are special rules where you haven't traded for the whole of the three year period.
The grant is capped at a maximum of £7,500, will be paid in 6 days (so we're told), and importantly, will be taxable when you do the accounts/tax return covering the period of receipt.
So, how to claim ?
We understand thatyou can only apply once HMRC have told you to. The portal through which the claim is to be made opens on 13th May, but this does not mean everyone can then log on - HMRC will be telling you when you can claim from, trying to log in before you are invited will probably overwhelm the service.
In the meantime you can check that HMRC think you are eligible or not by going through the online checker which is at:-
If you don't agree with their answer, you can click on the online appeal button that appears at the end (and to which I made reference to yesterday)
Once HMRC invite you to claim, then you will need your:-
- UTR (Unique Tax Reference) - the ten digit number that appears on your tax return
- National Insurance Number
- Your Government Gateway ID and password (see below)
- The bank account where you want the money paid to.
You may or may not know your Government Gateway and password. You may actually not have one ! But, this is not information that I hold. If you don't have one or can't remember it, then one can be applied forwhen you check your eligibility online.
Now, a really important point - this grant is not something that I can apply for on your behalf. Unlike some of the other support schemes, HMRC have, in their wisdom, prevented accountants from helping their clients.
So when HMRC contact you inviting you to apply,please do not assume that I am doing it for you - I'm not. And that isn't because I'm too lazy, too busy or can't be bothered, it's because I can't !
Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at
What are my positives today:-:
1. We didn't have a frost last night..
Mad panic seeing the weather forecast last night, Debbie was outside with a torch covering up the seedlings we'd planted out at the weekend. This morning the garden had an eclectic mix of plastic bottles, yogurt pots and even a few tin cans covering the poor unsuspecting plants.
But no frost.
2. Those small slips are so amusing
Talking to a client today about how she's managing with income drying up.
It's OK, she told me. She can live frugally and 'can turn wine into water'
I'm sure she didn't mean that somehow. But I think we all can, (kind of).
And if I remember the 80's correctly it then got bottled again, and called 'Liebfraumilch'
3. The tone is changing
It's noticeable that the calls and 'meetings' I'm in this week have been much more about R words - Reopening, Recovery, Resilience, Repositioning, and much less about the C words of Closure and Coronavirus. That is great news.
Although in the context of letters and words, as one client remarked about Bounceback Loans, there is still no F in Money. Or at least Ithinkthat is what he said.
And what am I talking to clients about ?
Managing the end of Furlough. This can't go on forever. The Chancellor has flagged that he needs to wean people off furlough (at the moment it is estimated that23% of the workforceis furloughed !).
The Evening Standard has floated the possibility of the 80% being cut to 60%. The ES has been a reliable source of rumour over this crisis and remember it is edited by none other than George Osbourne
I questionned dress codes etc on Zoom calls yesterday, and coincidentally Melanie sent me this picture of a scarecrow, for which many thanks.
Is it a model to aspire to, or to dread becoming ?