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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

15 April 2020

COVID-19

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In this fast-moving situation further clarification has emerged concerning the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and so we have put together this series of Q&A to assist you in getting to grips with the latest information.

Q. What does the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme do?

A. The individuals to claim an equivalent to 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months from March to May 2020.  The grant is liable to tax.  The scheme might be extended if needed.

Q. When will I be and what will it cover?

A. The taxable grant will be paid in June 2020 as a single lump sum to cover the three months from 1 March to 31 May 2020.  It will be paid to those that are eligible directly into their bank account.

Q. Who is eligible?

A. The self-employed, including members of partnerships, will be eligible if

  1. their trading profits for 2018/19 were less than £50,000 and more than 50% of their income stems from self-employment
    or
  2. their average trading profits for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 were less than £50,000 and more than 50% of their income stems from self-employment.

For those who commenced self-employment between 2016 and 2019, HMRC will only use those years for which a self-assessment tax return has been filed.

Q. Is the grant taxable?

A. Yes, the grant is taxable.

Q. How do I qualify?

A. You must have submitted a 2018/19 tax return to qualify.

For those who have not yet filed their 2019 Tax Return, HMRC has stated that the 2018/19 tax return must be filed by 23 April 2020 in order to eligible so there is still time.

Q. Do I have to prove that I have lost trading profits due to Covid-19?

A. Additional eligibility criteria include the requirement that the individual must

  1. have lost trading profits due to Covid-19
  2. have traded in 2019/2020 and intend to trade in 2020/21
  3. be trading at the point of application or would have been except for Covid-19. 

Q. What do I need to do now? 

A. Do NOT contact HMRC now because HMRC will contact and invite those that are eligible to apply.  Applications will need to be made online when the invitations have been issued by HMRC. 

HMRC is going to set up a dedicated online portal for the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme – this will be developed to provide a single point of contact for the self-employed.

Q. Am I at risk of fraudsters or scammers?

A. This is a good time to remind you that HMRC do not send texts or make calls asking for bank or credit card details. If this happens then it is likely to be a scam. Please be wary.