Coronavirus: Work out your turnover so you can claim the fifth SEISS grant

News article

You'll need to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about your turnover if you traded in 2019 to 2020 as well as any of the following tax years:

  • 2018 to 2019
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2016 to 2017

Turnover includes the takings, fees, sales or money earned or received by your business.

Before you claim

You must:

  1. Work out your April 2020 to April 2021 turnover.

  2. Find your turnover from either 2019 to 2020 or 2018 to 2019 to use as a reference year.

You will need to have both figures ready when you make your claim.

How to work out your April 2020 to April 2021 turnover

You need to work out your turnover for a 12-month period, starting on any date from 1 to 6 April 2020.

You can use one of the following periods:

  • 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
  • 2 April 2020 to 1 April 2021
  • 3 April 2020 to 2 April 2021
  • 4 April 2020 to 3 April 2021
  • 5 April 2020 to 4 April 2021
  • 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021

You should check that your figure is accurate. HMRC will be able to check your figures after you submit your tax return for this period.

Your figure must include the turnover from all of your businesses.

Where to find your turnover figures
You can:

  • refer to your 2020 to 2021 Self-Assessment tax return if you've completed it
  • check your accounting software (if you use any)
  • 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
  • ask your accountant or tax adviser (if you have one)

What not to include
Anything reported as any other income on your tax return. You should also not include any coronavirus (COVID-19) support payments, for example:

  • previous SEISS grants
  • Eat Out to Help Out payments
  • local authority or devolved administration grants

If you started or ceased a business in 2020 to 2021
You should include the turnover received between April 2020 to April 2021, even if this covers less than 12 months.

If you have more than one business as a sole trader
Your figure must include the total turnover from all of your businesses. This includes any new business you started between April 2020 to April 2021.

If you’re a subcontractor under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
Your turnover must include the full amounts on your invoices, before any deductions contractors have made in the ‘CIS deductions’ field.

If you’re a member of a partnership
How you work out your turnover depends on when you entered the partnership and if you have other businesses.

If you were a member of the same partnership in your reference year and in April 2020 to April 2021 and had no other businesses in either of those years, you’ll need to work out and use the partnership’s total turnover figure.

If you were a member of the same partnership in the tax year 2019 to 2020 and in the period April 2020 to April 2021, and you also had other businesses at any time in either of those periods, you’ll need to work out and include your percentage share of the partnership’s turnover. This will be the same as the percentage of profit you took from the partnership in your reference year, even if your profit share percentage changed after your reference year. You should add this to the turnover from your other businesses.

If you’ve joined a partnership between April 2020 and April 2021 and have other businesses, you need to work out your percentage share of the partnership’s turnover. It will be the same percentage of profit you took from the partnership in the 12-month period, April 2020 to April 2021. You should add this to the turnover from your other businesses.

If you have Lloyd's income
If you have Lloyd's income as well as income from another business, you should use the turnover from your other business.

If you only have Lloyd's income, you'll need to contact HMRC.

Find a previous year's turnover to use as a reference year

In most cases, you must use the turnover reported in your 2019 to 2020 tax return as a reference year. The figure needs to be:

  • based on a 12-month period
  • include the total turnover for all your businesses

Your 12-month period does not need to start in April.

If 2019 to 2020 was not a normal year for your business, you can use the turnover reported in your 2018 to 2019 tax return. Your records should show how 2019 to 2020 was not a normal year for you. For example, if you:

  • were on carers leave, long term sick leave or had a new child
  • carried out reservist duties
  • lost a large contract
  • are eligible for the fifth grant but did not submit a 2019 to 2020 return

Find out more about how your different circumstances affect your eligibility.

Where to find your turnover on your tax return
There is a box for turnover on your tax return. If you submit a paper return, the box is different depending on which Self-Assessment sections you complete. For section:

  • SA200 it is box 3.6
  • SA103S it is box 9
  • SA103F it is box 15
  • SA800 it is box 3.24 or 3.29 (for partnerships)

You can find previous tax returns by:

  • logging in to your personal tax account to view online
  • checking your business records
  • asking your accountant (if you have one)

You should check that the figure you use is correct before you make your claim.

If you think it is not correct, for example it includes other business income, you should make sure you use the correct figure when you claim and amend your tax return.

If you have an accounting period longer than 12 months
You'll need to work out what your 12-month turnover was.

If you have an accounting period shorter than 12 months because you changed your accounting date
You'll need to work out what your 12-month turnover was.

If you started or ceased a business in your reference year
You should include the turnover received in your reference year, even if this covers less than 12 months.

If you have more than one business as a sole trader
Your figure must include the total turnover for all of your businesses.

If you’re a subcontractor under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
Your turnover must include the full amounts on your invoices, before any deductions contractors have made in the ‘CIS deductions’ field.

If you’re a member of a partnership
How you work out your turnover depends on when you were in the partnership and if you have other businesses. 

If you were a member of the same partnership in your reference year and in April 2020 to April 2021 and had no other businesses in either of those years, you’ll need to work out and use the partnership’s total turnover figure for the reference year. 

If you were a member of a partnership in the tax year 2019 to 2020 and had any other businesses in that tax year or in the period April 2020 to April 2021, you’ll need to work out and include your percentage share of the partnership’s turnover. This will be the same as the percentage of profit you took from the partnership in your reference year. You should add this to your turnover from any other businesses.

If you have Lloyd's income
If you have Lloyd's income as well as income from another business, you should use the turnover from the other business.

If you only have Lloyds income in 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020, you'll need to contact HMRC.

How your turnover affects your grant amount

When you make your claim, the online service will ask you for your turnover figures and compare them for you. The claims service will then tell you if you can claim the higher or lower grant amount.

If your turnover is down by 30% or more
Your grant will be:

  • worked out at 80% of 3 months' average trading profits
  • capped at £7,500

If your turnover is down by less than 30%
Your grant will be:

  • worked out at 30% of 3 months' average trading profits
  • capped at £2,850

Examples

There are examples for:

  • when you'll get the higher grant
  • when you'll get the lower grant
  • if 2019 to 2020 was not a normal year for your business
  • if you have more than one business
  • if your accounting period is longer than 12 months
  • if you have an accounting period shorter than 12 months because you changed your accounting date
  • if you're a member of a partnership and also have another business

When you'll get the higher grant
If you have a total turnover of:

  • £20,000 for 2019 to 2020
  • £10,000 for April 2020 to April 2021

Your turnover for April 2020 to April 2021 is down by 50% compared to 2019 to 2020.

You'll get the higher grant amount which is worth 80% of 3 months' average trading profits because your turnover is down by 30% or more.

When you'll get the lower grant
If you have a total turnover of:

  • £20,000 for 2019 to 2020
  • £16,000 for April 2020 to April 2021

Your turnover for April 2020 to April 2021 is down by 20% compared to 2019 to 2020. You'll get the lower grant amount which is worth 30% of 3 months' average trading profits because your turnover is down by less than 30%.

If 2019 to 2020 was not a normal year for your business
You had a lower than normal turnover in 2019 to 2020 due to a long period of sickness. You had a normal year of trading in 2018 to 2019 so you can use 2018 to 2019 as your reference year.

Year Turnover Reduction compared to 2020 to 2021
2018 to 2019 £36,000 75%
2019 to 2020 £12,000 25%
2020 to 2021 £9,000 N/A

Your turnover for:

  • 2018 to 2019 was £36,000
  • 2020 to 2021 was £9,000

Your business turnover is down by 75% when comparing £36,000 turnover from 2018 to 2019 with £9,000 turnover from 2020 to 2021.

In this example, you would be entitled to the higher grant as your turnover is down by 75%.

If you have more than one business
Your turnover in 2019 to 2020 for:

  • business A was £30,000
  • business B was £20,000

Add them together for a combined turnover of £50,000. Compare this to your turnover of £25,000 in 2020 to 2021, your turnover is down by 50%.

Year Business A turnover Business B turnover Total turnover Reduction compared to 2020 to 2021
2019 to 2020 £30,000 £20,000 £50,000 50%
2020 to 2021 £20,000 £5,000 £25,000 N/A

In this example you're entitled to claim the higher grant by comparing 2020 to 2021 turnover to 2019 to 2020 because your total turnover is down by 50%.

If your accounting period is longer than 12 months
If you have a 15-month accounting period and declared a turnover of £45,000 on your 2019 to 2020 tax return. To get your 12-month turnover for 2019 to 2020 you could:

  1. Divide your 15-month figure by 15 to get your turnover for 1 month.
  2. Multiply this by 12.
Year 15-month turnover 1-month turnover Total turnover for 12 months
2019 to 2020 £45,000 £3,000 £36,000

If the method in this example does not produce a fair result for you, you can use another reasonable method.

If you have an accounting period shorter than 12 months because you changed your accounting date
If you:

  • have an 8-month accounting period and declared turnover of £16,000 on your 2019 to 2020 tax return
  • had a 12-month accounting period in 2018 to 2019 and declared a turnover of £24,000

To get your 12-month turnover for 2019 to 2020 you would need to:

  1. work out 4-months of turnover from your 2018 to 2019 tax return by dividing by 12 and multiplying by 4.
  2. add this to the 8-month turnover in your 2019 to 2020 tax return.
Year 8-month turnover 4-month turnover (from 2018 to 2019) Total turnover for 12 months
2019 to 2020 £16,000 £8,000 £24,000

If you're a member of a partnership and also have another business
If you:

  • are using 2019 to 2020 as your reference year
  • are a member of a partnership and took a 5% share of the profits in 2019 to 2020
  • have another business as a sole trader

You need to:

  1. Use the same percentage, (in this example 5%) of your share of the profits in 2019 to 2020 to work out your share of the partnership turnover in both the reference year and 2020 to 2021.
  2. Add these to your sole trader turnover in both years to get the total turnover figures.
Year Total partnership turnover Sole trader turnover
2019 to 2020 £10,000 £20,000
2020 to 2021 £8,000 £5,000

Year 5% share of partnership turnover Sole trader turnover Total turnover
2019 to 2020 £500 £20,000 £20,500
2020 to 2021 £400 £5,000 £5,400

You will use £20,500 for 2019 to 2020 and £5,400 for 2020 to 2021.

Get help working out your turnover

You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about how to work out your business turnover.

Contacting HMRC
HMRC are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts their essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

You can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.


First published 6 July 2021