Self Employed

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The Government are launching the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, paying self-employed people who have been adversely affected by coronavirus a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months – but the scheme will be extended if necessary. Self-employed people who are eligible will be contacted by HMRC directly, asked to fill out a simple online form, and HMRC will pay the grant directly into their bank account. 

The Government are ensuring this support reaches those self-employed people who are most in need of it. The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, HMRC will also ask people to demonstrate that the majority of their income comes from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment,and who have a tax return for 2019,will be able to apply.

HMRC have begun contacting customers who may be eligible for the SEISS. HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to check eligibility for the scheme. The claims service will open on 13 May and payments will be made within 6 working days of making a claim.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended for three months – so that people will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. Individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus will be eligible for further support worth 70 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, capped at £6,570 in total. The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant; for example, they may only have been adversely affected by coronavirus in this later phase. 

Universal Credit 

The minimum income floor for Universal Credit has been suspended for twelve months – meaning self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.

Income Tax Self-Assessment Payments

For the self-employed, the Government are also deferring income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021.

HMRC has a set up a new helpline to support businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. The helpline number is 0800 024 1222.

Employment and Support Allowance

Self-employed people are able to access support through the welfare system when they are unable to work. If they have accumulated two years of NICs, they can claim ‘new style’ Employment and Support Allowance.