Information subject to change at short notice – for the most up-to-date position please refer to the UK Government website.
What is the UK Government doing to support the self-employed through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The UK Government have announced their response to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the self-employed and will be providing support via a taxable cash grant worth of 80% of trading profits – capped at £2500 per month – for a 3-month period.
At present, the support package provided by the government only covers the period of March – May 2020. Payments of SEISS will be paid, in arrears, to those who qualify in a single lump sum in June 2020. The payments will be made directly into your bank account.
Who qualifies for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme?
Self-employed traders, including those who work in a partnership, will be eligible for the SEISS grant if their profits for the 2018/19 tax year were below £50,000 AND more than 50% of their income came from self-employment.
To help those who may not qualify for support based on their 2018/19 self-employed profits, HMRC will look back at the last 3 years and average your self-employed income and percentage of income derived from self-employment to determine whether you qualify for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
In addition, to qualify for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme you must also:
- Have submitted your Self-Assessment Tax Return for the year ended 5th April 2019 to HMRC by 23 April 2020
- Have lost or reduced trading profits as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Have traded in the 2019/20 tax year
- Intend to trade in the 2020/21 tax year
- Be trading at the time of making your application for SEISS, or unable to trade due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
How do I apply to join the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme?
As qualifying for the scheme is based on information held by HMRC, and the payments will not be issued until June 2020, there is no need for you to contact HMRC to apply for self-employed income support at this time. HMRC will assess eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.
If you have not yet completed your Self-Assessment Tax Return for the year ended 5th April 2019 and intend on applying for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, you must submit your Self-Assessment Tax Return for the year ended 5th April 2019 to HMRC no later than 23 April 2020!
Where can I find out further information about the UK Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme?
The UK Government website provides updates and additional information for those who would like to find out more about the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme here.
What other help has the UK Government made available for people who are self-employed?
- Payments on Account: 6-month deferral for those due to make payments in July 2020
- Reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): Up to 2 weeks per eligible employee – for sickness absence due to COVID-19
- VAT Payments: 3-month deferral for those with VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
- Additional Help: Available from HMRC’s ‘Time to Pay Scheme’ on a case-by-case basis
Last updated 31 March 2020