Self-Employment Income Support Scheme update

18 March 2021

Rishi Sunak announced within the Spring Budget 2021 that there would be both a fourth and a fifth grant made available under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). HMRC has provided some additional information in relation to the fourth grant.


The eligibility criteria for the fourth grant remains largely unchanged from the third grant, with the exceptions that an individual must:

  • Have submitted their tax return for 2019-20 by no later than 2 March 2021
  • Have trading profits that are at least nil (not a trading loss), based on their tax return for 2019-20, or an average of the tax years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20
  • Have trading profits that do not exceed £50,000 and are at least equivalent to their non-trading income, based on their tax return for 2019-20, or an average of the tax years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20
  • Have been trading in both tax years 2019-20 and 2020-21

Full eligibility criteria information is available on GOV.UK.

From mid-April, an online eligibility checker will be made available, and will confirm eligibility but will not provide a reason where an individual is ineligible. Individuals will be required to sign- in to their Government Gateway account to locate the reason, as this is personal information.

How to claim for the fourth grant

Any potentially eligible customers will be contacted from mid-April 2021 and provided with a personal claim date. They will then be able to claim at any point between their personal claim date, up until the date at which the claims service closes, which will be on 31 May 2021.

There has been no change to the fact that agents cannot submit claims on behalf of their clients. Agents are advised to refrain from doing so, as this will trigger a fraud alert, and result in substantial delays to clients receiving payment.

Upcoming customer contact

If HMRC needs to make additional checks in relation to an individual’s eligibility, then they will write to them to explain that they will be receiving a phone call, in which they will be asked to provide proof of identity and evidence of trade. When making these calls, the telephone number that HMRC holds for that individual will be used. Where this is the number of an agent, HMRC will request the client’s contact number to liaise with them directly.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.