Fifth SEISS grant available from July

HMRC has released preliminary guidance on the availability of the fifth taxable SEISS grant

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HMRC has released preliminary guidance on the availability of the fifth taxable SEISS grant, which will cover the period May 2021 to September 2021.

To be eligible, similar rules as the previous grants will apply, including:

  • trading in 2019-20 (and a return for that year submitted by 2 March 2021)
  • trading in 2020-21.

Further, individuals must either:

  • be currently trading but impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.

Trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to non-trading income. HMRC will initially base this assessment on 2019-20 tax returns but if an individual does not qualify on that return, HMRC will look at earlier tax years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Upon claiming individuals must declare that:

  • they intend to continue to trade
  • they reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus from May 2021 to September 2021.

As before, agents will not be able to claim on behalf of clients and it is therefore imperative that practitioners advise clients to keep sufficient evidence showing how their business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.

HMRC will expect individuals to have made an honest assessment about whether they reasonably believe their business will have a significant reduction in profits. Evidence and notes of any discussions with clients will be key in supporting any future queries or submission of tax returns that include such grants.

Unlike the earlier SEISS grants, the amount of the fifth grant will be determined by reduction in turnover in the tax year 2020-21. The turnover-based grant will be paid in a single instalment and assessed as follows:


Turnover reduction

Basis of calculation

Maximum grant

30% or more

80% of 3 months’ average trading profits


Less than 30%

30% of 3 months’ average trading profits


HMRC will provide further information and detailed guidance by the end of June 2021, including guidance on how individuals should work out how their turnover was affected.

The online claims service for the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021 and individuals who are eligible should expect HMRC to contact them around mid-July confirming the date by which they can make their claim.

Further resources

ACCA guidance on earlier SEISS grants

ACCA guidance on PCRT implications for practitioners