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July 15. 2021

Should I, shouldn't I - The 5th SEISS Grant

The rules for the 5th grants are surprisingly cumbersome. Here is a very brief breakdown of the grant application process, in two parts.

Firstly, you need to look at your profit for the period May 2021 to September 2021.

Compare May 2021 to September 2021 to the period May 2019 to September 2019. If your profit is “Significantly” lower because of Covid then you qualify for the grant. For driving instructors, the quickest and easiest way to confirm this is to look at your diary for those months and see how they compare, if your lessons are about the same then you will not qualify, if there are significantly less lessons being taught then you may qualify. For all other businesses, looking quickly at the cash sheets or software you used in 2019 will let you know how your profit compares.

HMRC knows that most trades have restarted, and which trades are booming. They will be surprised to see any applications from people operating these trades. It is therefore incredibly important to keep records showing that your profit is lower as HMRC may request your evidence to support your claim.

Secondly, there may be a completely justifiable reason why you will qualify.

You may have been made to isolate numerous times or you may even have had Covid for a significant period. If you have been affected and it has had a significant impact on your profit, we strongly suggest you keep the texts and emails you have received to confirm when you were unable to work and then you can show the impact this had on your profit, at that time.

If you believe you qualify then you will need to supply HMRC with your turnover figures for 2020/2021. The figure you need to use has to exclude any grants you may have received. 

HMRC have stated they will pursue people who should not have made claims. They are taking an incredibly long-time processing 2020/2021 Tax Returns as they are checking every return to see if taxpayers should have made the claims. To be clear, I am not saying do not make the claim, I am asking that you consider very carefully whether you honestly qualify. Especially as HMRC can insist you repay the grant with up to a 100% penalty if they believe you shouldn’t have claimed it.



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