Originally published 22 October, Last updated 5 November 2020
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the SEISS has been extended to April 2021. It will be paid in two instalments – the first, covering November-January, and the second covering February-April. It was initially targeted at people who were working fewer hours than they normally would be as a result of the ongoing situation, and who were eligible for SEISS in the first place (i.e. received the first two grants), but with the latest development of a new lockdown with all lessons and tests being stopped then it is back to where it was earlier this year.
As I understand it, those who couldn’t claim previously still won’t be able to. I do feel for them.
The pandemic is a developing situation, but it would appear that many instructors’ minds don’t work in the same way, and remain fixed in the past – and they were usually wrong even then.
When the SEISS extension was first announced it was during different restrictions, and was going to be 20% of earnings. This compared with 80% of earnings for the first grant, and 70% for the second earlier this year. However, it was still better than nothing. Then things changed, restrictions were increased, and the amount of the extension payment was raised to 40% of earnings. This was even better than still better than nothing.
On 2 November, this was changed to 80% for the duration of the lockdown, and 40% thereafter. However, it has now changed yet again, and will now be paid at 80% for the entire period November-January. The amount of the February-April grant has not yet been set.
You would have thought that instructors would have worked out by now that the situation can change overnight. But they don’t, and treat every change as somehow being carved in stone. No one knows what the next few months will bring, but at least those of us eligible for the grant will be covered.
Claims will open from 30 November 2020, and HMRC will notify people accordingly.
But if they’re paying it in instalments, how do they know we won’t still be locked down?
Oh, Christ! That was my response to this question before the latest change. Look, it doesn’t matter now, because it has already changed to 80% across the whole of November-January. You won’t have to worry about doing your sums anymore trying to work out the (absolutely meaningless) average overall figure. It’s 80%, period.
You’ve still got to pay tax on it
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. You are being given a percentage of your pre-tax earnings without actually having to earn it, so you’ve got to pay tax on it. Anyone who expects otherwise shouldn’t be running a business.
Reminder: Use the proper GOV.UK link to find out the latest situation with the grant. Don’t just guess.