Coronavirus Update

Government support for the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world into disarray, with many businesses having to drastically reassess their working practises and in many cases, shut up shop for the foreseeable future.

None have been hit harder than the self-employed community. We look at the government support available for the self-employed community. 


Government support for the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, quickly announced the 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme', which looks to protect the jobs of furloughed workers who would have otherwise been out of work. 

Due to increasing pressure from the self-employed community, who many felt had been left behind, he announced the Self-employed Income Support Scheme on 26th March. 

The Self-employed Income Support Scheme

This "world-leading" government scheme was introduced to support self-employed people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

For the self-employed who earn less than £50,000 per year and are out of work because of the coronavirus crisis, they will be able to reclaim up to 80% of their earnings, to a maximum of £2,500 a month for three months.

Important Information

The situation is changing every day. Here's the latest update as of 27th March

  • HMRC will provide cash grants up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months if the individual is unable to work.
  • The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • Grants will be paid in a single lump-sum instalment covering all 3 months and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.
  • There is no HMRC system to deliver these grants as yet, so the method of delivery remains to be seen.
  • To qualify, at least half of the operative's income must come from self-employment. 
  • To minimise fraud, the operative must have completed a 2019 tax return 
  • The self-employed are also able to benefit from interest and fee-free loans, the VAT deferral, business rates suspension, income tax measures and council tax breaks.

How do you apply for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme?

Right now, around 95% of the UK self-employed population is eligible for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme.

You won't be able to apply directly for the scheme though, because HMRC needs to build all of the infrastructure and processes from scratch in order to deliver it. 

That means HMRC will contact you directly, if you're eligible for the grant using data from your 2018-19 Self Assessment tax return.

You need to submit your 2018-19 tax return by April 23rd to be eligible for the grant. If you haven't done this, contact us immediately to avoid missing out on the support you could be entitled to.

 We can help you submit your tax return urgently so you can be at the front of the queue for when the government funds are released.

The first payments are expected to be no later than the first week of June, so you need to move quickly to make sure you don't miss out. 

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