Martin Lewis issues urgent SEISS warning – self-employed urged claim now as deadline looms

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The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme was extended by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak last year, when he announced a third and fourth grant would be available. The third grant covers November 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021.

It is worth 80 percent of the eligible 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.

The online service to claim the third grant from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is currently open – however it won’t stay that way for long.

This is because the deadline for applications for the third grant falls on January 29, 2021.

If a person is eligible, they will therefore need to make their claim for the third grant by the end of tomorrow.

It’s something which Martin Lewis warned ITV viewers about this evening.

During the Martin Lewis Money Show Live, he warned midnight on Friday “is the last time you could apply” for the third grant.

“Eligibility is unchanged – if you were eligible for the first and second, you’re eligible for this, you’ll know that. If you were excluded from the first two, you’re excluded for this one.”

The financial journalist explained that a declaration which needs to be made for this third grant, unlike the first two grants, has been causing concern for some applicants.

“What puts people off, who are eligible, is the declaration you need to make which is that you have a reasonable belief of significant trading profit reduction,” he said.

“Now that trading profit reduction, can be due to either lower demand, activity or capacity.”

Martin gave some examples of what this could mean for self-employed people hit by coronavirus.

“So fewer customers, cancelled contracts, supply chain issues, or the lockdown in effect – both in its own right, or you’ve been told to shield of self-isolate [but] not returning from abroad, that doesn’t count,” he explained.

“Or your kids are at home and you have the care from them – that is a reason to claim this grant.”

Martin also reflected on some of the concerns self-employed people have mentioned to him.

“Now what people tell me [is] the reason that put off doing this, is they say, ‘Well my profits are down 10 percent but I know I get the whole amount. It’s binary, you either get paid or you don’t. So I’m not sure I can claim.'”

Clarifying who can claim, he said: “If your profits are significantly reduced and I’ll say 10 percent is, then claim.

“You do get the whole amount – that’s the system, that’s not you cheating it. So don’t be put off by that.”

It’s important to be aware that the grant doesn’t need to be repaid, provided the person is eligible for it.

The grant will still be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance though, and it must be reported on your 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return.

The Martin Lewis Money Show Live airs Thursdays on ITV from 8.30pm.

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