Farmers considering applying for the fourth or fifth Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant should act with caution, Lowry Grant from accountancy firm PKF-FPM has advised.
At an online meeting for UFU members last Tuesday, Grant acknowledged that a lot of his clients did claim the first (and second) SEISS grant. However, he maintained that farmers are finding it difficult to justify the level of falls in profitability that would be required to get third, fourth or fifth versions of the scheme.
“I would caution any farm enterprise that have claimed SEISS -– the HMRC have teams of people now working at reviewing compliance side of those applications to see whether they were claimed correctly and whether they should be reclaimed by the revenue with penalties” said the PKF-FPM Director.
“If you haven’t got evidence of loss, it is probably not for you,” added UFU deputy president David Brown.
The first and second versions of SEISS required an individual to declare that their business had been “adversely affected” by coronavirus.
However, the third grant, which closed on 29 January 2021, added in new criteria, including that you must “reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced demand or your inability to trade”.
Where a claimant realises that they were not entitled to the third grant, they should inform HMRC within 90 days of receiving the money.
The fourth version of SEISS is due to open for claims from late April 2021, and a fifth and final scheme covering the period from May to September is expected later this year.
To claim the fourth grant, an individual must again declare a significant reduction in profits is likely due to coronavirus. The grant is again set at 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500.
In the fifth grant, the rate of payment will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.