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SELF EMPLOYMENT GRANT FOR FITNESS INSTRUCTORS

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I have just tried the HMRC 'tool' for self-employed to test their eligibility.  I have a client that is a self-employed fitness instructor.  The 'tool' says she is eligible to claim the grant.  However, many fitness instructors (including my client) have managed to maintain quite a healthy business by doing classes on-line either 1 to 1 or in 'Zoom' type forums.  Does anyone know how their earnings during the 'lockdown' period will impact on their ability to claim the grant or will it be down to them declaring they had some earnings albeit lower than usual?  Just as an aside, when I typed in my UTR & NI the tool promptly told me I wasn't eligible which must be driven by the 'nature of my business' box on the self-employed page!

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By claudialowe
04th May 2020 14:22

I tried it on mine, and it said that I was eligible....................

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By spilly
04th May 2020 14:24

It depends. We have a gym-based fitness instructor who is unable to operate normally. However, they have managed to bring in some income by giving online instruction, but it is nowhere near their usual level.
I am expecting them to be able to make a claim.

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By LAKE
04th May 2020 15:42

Hi,

The grant is for individuals, individuals in partnerships, whose business has been adversely affected by COVID. For example, they have had to scale down, which I suggest would cover your client. Individuals can continue to work, start a new trade, or take on other employment.

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By fawltybasil2575
04th May 2020 16:11

@ Ashford (OP).

(1) Your GYM INSTRUCTOR client will certainly (subject to the small caveat below) meet the requirement to have suffered a reduction in income due to coronavirus, and thus will (subject to their of course not breaching the other tests, eg the "more than 50% of total income" test) qualify for the SEISS Grant.

[The "small caveat" is that grant claims must not be considered to be outwith the spirit of the scheme. Arguably, if the income reduction due to the virus were NEGLIGIBLE, such MIGHT be considered to disqualify the claim (but this would be subjective, and if the virus could be shown to have resulted in an income reduction of over (say) £500, then IMHO no HMRC challenge would be successful). It is advisable to keep a note of the factors which have adversely affected the business and estimates/"guestimates" of the quantum, in case of subsequent challenge several years hence].

(2) As for YOUR OWN eligibility, the "nature of my business" box entry will NOT be the reason for HMRC's "not eligible" response. Are you sure that you have complied with the OTHER criteria (I note that your profile states that you are part-time in accountancy, so perhaps you have employed income, rental income, or whatever, which results in your not meeting the "more than 50% of total income" test) ?

Basil.

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Replying to fawltybasil2575:
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By Gone Sailing
04th May 2020 18:30

[quote=fawltybasil2575]

@ Ashford (OP).

(1) Your GYM INSTRUCTOR client will certainly (subject to the small caveat below) meet the requirement to have suffered a reduction in income due to coronavirus, and thus will (subject to their of course not breaching the other tests, eg the "more than 50% of total income" test) qualify for the SEISS Grant.

This needs to be clarified. This is to do with "more than 50% of total income" coming from Self Employment.

So if someone has 100% of total income coming from Self Employment then if "your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus", so let's say it was 75% business as usual, then a claim appears to be valid - pending HMRC's final pronouncements. Nervy.

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Replying to Gone Sailing:
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By fawltybasil2575
04th May 2020 20:14

@ Gone Sailing.

You have misunderstood my point re "more than 50% of total income". This does NOT refer to the amount by which the income has decreased due to Coronavirus ( eg "75% business as usual" per your post) since the epidemic started.

It relates instead to one of the rules, under which one looks at the taxable income figures for:-

(i) the 2018/19 tax year alone,
(ii) the tax years 2016/17 to 2018/19 in total.

If, EITHER re (i) and/or re (ii), the self-employment income is more than half the total income, then one has complied with that rule (slight over-simplification on my part but sufficient for the purpose). The rationale for the rules is that the government is seeking to support those people whose self-employment income is their major income source.

Basil.

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Replying to fawltybasil2575:
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By Gone Sailing
04th May 2020 20:22

I know, that's what I said, I just thought I would clarify. Note to self ......

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By Gone Sailing
04th May 2020 18:29

The "You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus" is massively vague and HMRC should have done a lot better than this in terms of thinking it through and wording.
It's leaving too many people in a 'shall I / shan't I" situation, and actually taking on work appears to not affect the claim, as long as the business "has been adversely affected by coronavirus".
Just a bit odd for a legislative organisation asking people to make honest decisions.

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