COVID-19 – SEISS Fifth Grant – Tricky Turnover Test


Clients may have received an email from HMRC providing you with your window of when you can apply for the fifth, and final, Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant.  As was the case for the first four SEISS Grants, we are unable to apply for the Grant on your behalf.

To apply for the fifth Grant, HMRC has stated that businesses will have to prove their sales have reduced in order to qualify.  There are four steps to achieve the two figures necessary for the application:


Step 1: 2020/21 turnover

HMRC wants the turnover that fits almost exactly into the tax year 2020/21, ie. From any date between 1st and 6th April 2020 to exactly a year later.  To obtain this figure, either:

  • refer to your 2020 to 2021 Self-Assessment tax return if it’s completed
  • check your accounting software
  • go through your bookkeeping or spreadsheet records that cover your self-employment invoices and payments received
  • check the bank account you use for your business to account for money coming in from customers


Step 2: Adjustments for grants

Where the business has treated ‘money in’ as turnover they must then deduct any amounts of Covid-related business support grants received from that figure. This includes SEISS and Eat Out to Help Out grants, and any local authority grants.


Step 3: Reference year

The reference year is used to determine the turnover figure used as the base comparison to the 2020/21 turnover (ie. The result of Step 2 above).

For most businesses the reference year is the turnover reported on the 2019/20 tax return. If 2019/20 was an unusually low year, the reference year turnover is that reported on the 2018/19 tax return.


Step 4: Compare the figures

Only where the reference year turnover is higher than the 2020/21 turnover (result of step 2 above) will the business qualify for the SEISS-5 Grant.

If the 2020/21 turnover has reduced by 30% or more compared to the turnover in the reference period, the grant will be 80% of three months average profits capped at £7,500. In other cases where the reduction in turnover is less than 30%, the grant is 30% of three months average profits capped at £2,850.


If you have any queries please contact Jackie or Andrew.

Castletons Accountants

Leave a comment