Sports Freelancer Collective – August 17 update – SEISS enters second phase

Message from Philippe Auclair
Football Writers’ Association co-ordinator for the Sports Freelancer Collective

It has been a while since we last got in touch with you, which does not mean we haven’t been very busy in the background; quite the opposite in fact, starting with the formal establishment of the SFC as a group, a process which is far, far more complicated that one would have thought to start with. But we have managed to make progress on that front, and hope to get back to you with some positive news in the near future.

Despite sport resuming throughout the country, we freelancers are nowhere near being able to work and earn a living as we did before the pandemic hit our industry so hard. To take but one example, the draconian restrictions placed on the number of journalists and photographers who can be accredited at any given event still prevent the majority of us from reporting on ‘live’ sport. Our component member associations have not stopped and will carry on lobbying on our behalf. We will make sure to inform you on the progress that is made in this area.

The major news of the day is that the government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, for all its faults, has just entered its second phase, and those of us who were eligible the first time round can re-apply. We all know the limits of that scheme, and how so many of us have been left aside and forgotten because of their PAYE status in particular.

We’ll carry on pushing for changes to be made to the scheme but, in the meantime, I wanted to lay out the salient points of what is available as from today (though not for all, as some of us will not be able to apply for SEISS Mk II until later on). What follows is a brief summing-up of the key points as published this Monday by The Independent.

Is there a second grant and when can I claim it?
There is a second grant and those eligible will be able to claim 70 per cent of three months of trading profits up to a maximum of £6,570.
Applications, which can only be made by the claimant, open on 17 August and close on 19 October.
Those eligible have the money paid into their bank account within six working days of completing a claim.

 Who is eligible for the grant?
Self-employed people if they submitted their Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, have done self-employed work in the tax year 2019-20 and are planning to do self-employed work in the tax year 2020-21.

They will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, at least half of their income needs to have come from self-employment, and also have average trading profits of no more than £50,000.

How do I apply?
If you are eligible will need to apply via the official Government claims portal and will need your self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR), National insurance (NI) number and a Government Gateway user ID and password – if you don’t have one, you can create one when you make your claim.

It is also very important that you personally apply for it because a fraud alert could be triggered if your accountant or financial advisor claims on your behalf

You will also need your UK bank account details including the address linked to your account. It is also very important that you personally apply for it because a fraud alert could be triggered if your accountant or financial advisor claims on your behalf.

Is the grant taxable?
The grants are subject to income tax and self-employment national insurance contributions in the 2020/21 tax year and must be declared in the 2020/21 self assessment tax return.HMRC has published guidance on its website.

Follow these links for more precise information.
Sports Freelancer Collective FAQs