On 26 March the Chancellor announced his outline proposal for support for the self-employed.

The scheme will assist the self-employed (we believe this will include partners in partnerships) who are adversely affected by COVID-19.

If you trade through a limited company you are not eligible for this support. It is only for those whose majority of income comes from self-employment and with trading profits up to £50,000 per annum.

In order to qualify you must have been self-employed in the period to 5 April 2019 and have filed your tax return for that period. If you should have filed a tax return for that period by 31 January 2020 and have not, you can now benefit from a four week extended deadline from 26 March 2020 – if you require assistance in preparing your tax return, please contact us without delay.

The support will be in the form of a taxable grant of up to the lower of:

  • 80% of average profits over the last 3 years (or a shorter period for those who have not been trading for 3 years) or
  • £2,500 per month

The scheme will last for 3 months initially but may be extended. Importantly the self-employed can claim the grant whilst continuing to trade. The grants will be taxable and will need to be declared on your tax return.

The target is for funds to be accessible from the beginning of June and HMRC will contact you directly if you are eligible. Payments will be made directly into your bank account. You do not need to apply for Self Employed Income Support until HMRC have invited you to apply.  The detailed guidance can be found here.

The self-employed can also benefit from the deferral of July payments on account, Universal Credit, CBILS loans and mortgage holidays. Relevant details can be found here.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme