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SEISS 4 question re extra work taken on

Should hypothetical earnings be relevant to a SEISS claim?

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SEISS 4 question re extra work taken on

 

Hi all, I’m hoping to get your expert views on the scenario below please. Thank you in advance. 

 

A window cleaner (high street shops etc not domestic) earned £4820 profit in the 20/21 tax year. (This is a 38% annual reduction of profit over the previous “non-COVID” tax year). 

 

In the SEISS 4 qualifying period his anticipated profit would have been £1494. 

 

His actual profit was £401. 

 

His reduction specifically due to around 75% of his customers being closed due to the lockdown was £1093 which in context of his annual profit for 20/21 was a 22.67% reduction. (1494-401/4820x100)

 

That seems to reasonably meet the “significant reduction of profits” test. 

 

Any observations on that please?

 

An extra consideration is that out of an abundance of caution/honesty/scruples/fear the window cleaner wants it to be clear that he also “could have easily” taken on some ad hoc work as a food delivery driver in the qualifying period to supplement his income. 

 

This would have been an additional profit of £406 and would have reduced his “significant reduction” down from 22% to 13%. (A loss of £688)

 

Should he include these hypothetical extra earnings at all in his decision to claim? 

 

Is it more honest to do so or unnecessary?

 

In fact was he even obliged to do the extra work since he “could have” or not?

 

He’s a stickler and just wants to do the right thing!

 

Any viewpoints that you have would be very helpful. 

 

Thank you all in advance.

Replies (5)

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By Truthsayer
16th May 2021 14:16

'Could haves' don't matter. Only the things that actually happened count.

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By jonharris999
16th May 2021 16:07

You and your client are over-thinking the problem.

You need really go no further than "75% of his customers are closed". There is no need to compare to previous years.

It is an entirely eligible claim.

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By SXGuy
16th May 2021 17:17

I could have been a rocket scientist. What that has to do with anything I don't know

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By Tax Dragon
16th May 2021 20:12

Since I cannot see how the claim would have been invalid had the window cleaner taken on the ad hoc work as a food delivery driver*, I cannot see how it is given he didn't.

*Very precise, the numbers here. Are you sure he didn't do the ad hoc work? (That's not an allegation. I just find the knowledge of the amount not received interesting.)

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By Duggimon
17th May 2021 08:30

He could have done the delivery work and still claimed it.

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