Self employed fears over future government support

Arden Bookkeeping based in Solihull, West Midlands has seen a rise in self employed clients requesting to delay the submission of their 19/20 tax return for fear it will negatively impact their next claim on SEISS (Self employed income support scheme). But are their concerns valid?

In one word no, specifically for the November to January claim, available for application from 30th November. The government will be using the same methods as they had previously laid out for calculation of the average turnover, using information provided from the 18/19 financial year so there is no need to delay the submission of the 19/20 figures.

As Company Director Claire Bartlett explains this is a worrying time for all businesses: “Covid-19 has affected all businesses, but particularly small businesses and sole traders. Although lockdown began on 23rd March, right at the end of the financial year, the effects of the pandemic had already been felt by independent businesses. With many already isolating before the official lockdown the detrimental effect on finances were already showing.”

HMRC have announced that the scheme will be extended offering two further pay outs covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021 at a rate of 80% for the first claim and currently an unconfirmed rate for the second.

The deadline for the last financial years submission is 31st January 2021, therefore after the 3rd SEISS payment period. As HMRC are yet to announce the full details in relation for the 4th and final claim it is yet unknown if they will use the updated figures or remain using the historic data available to them. As the time frames are so tight it would give the impression they will remain with their current process but this can not yet be confirmed.

The key thing to take away from this is that there is no genuine reason to delay your submission. It will not play a part in the support received from the government and you should continue as you normally would regarding this years tax return submissions.