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The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Gary Green
Gary Green
March 30, 2020

The government has announced an income support scheme for self-employed UK workers. In today's article, we'll go into some more details about the scheme and who can benefit from it.

After coming under pressure for only helping salaried workers, the chancellor announced the launch of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
In yesterday's article we explained the basics of the scheme and how it works. In this article, we'll give you more detail about exactly who can apply and how you can claim.

If you’d like more information about the changes so far, check out our Coronavirus Tips. And be sure to visit our Coronavirus Update page.

Who Can Apply

If you are self-employed, you can claim a taxable grant from the government of 80% of your trading profits up to £2,500 a month. You'll need to meet the following conditions:

  • Self-employed or member of a partnership
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 per year
  • Trading profits represent less than half of your total taxable income
  • Have submitted your Self Assessment for 2018-2019
  • Intend to continue to trade in 2020-2021
  • Have lost trading profits due to the coronavirus

Please note - if you haven't submitted your Self Assessment for 2018-2019, you must do so by 23rd April. If you need help with your tax return, please get in touch and one of our tax experts will be able to start working on this straight away.

The HMRC page on the scheme has more details which we encourage you to read before making any declarations.

How Much Can You Get?

You will receive 80% of the average monthly profits from the tax years:

  • 2016-2017
  • 2017-2018
  • 2018-2019

If you haven't been trading for this long, HMRC will just use a shorter time period to work out your average profits. The maximum payments will be:

  • £2,500 a month
  • For a maximum of 3 months

HMRC will pay the money directly into your bank account in a lump sum. At the moment, early June seems to be the most likely time you'll receive the grant. However, this could change at any time. Remember that the grant is taxable.

You can't apply for the scheme at the moment, and HMRC is asking self-employed workers not to contact them for more information. They will contact you if and when you're eligible. They are also warning of possible scams:

You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

Final Thoughts

Although this is a very generous giveaway from the government, some people will inevitably fall through the cracks. There are some extra measures in recent announcements that you might be able to claim:

  • Income tax payment holiday
  • VAT payment holiday
  • Increased Universal Credit
  • Business Loan Interruption Scheme (talk to your bank)
  • Grants for small businesses (the government will write to you if you are eligible)

You may also be able to furlough yourself if you work via your own company. At the moment the rules around this are unclear. We'll have more information as soon as it becomes available. Be sure to check our blog for updates.

If you are unsure about applying for self-employment support, please feel free to get in touch. We are staying on top of all the announcements from the government and can help you navigate this challenging time.

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