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SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME - UPDATE 04/05/2020

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

The grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

There is other support available if you’re not eligible for the grant.

HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. But you can follow these steps to help you understand how we will do this and what you can do now:

  1. Find out who can claim.

  2. Check online if you’re eligible and when you’ll be able to claim.

  3. Find out how HMRC calculates your grant.

  4. Find out how you’ll make a claim when the online service becomes available.

  5. Find out when you’ll get the money paid into your bank and how to record the grant.

Who can claim

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and:

  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus, for example if:

  • you’re unable to work because you:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come in to work

You should not claim the grant if you’re above the state aid limits or operating a trade through a trust.

To work out your eligibility we will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.

If you’re not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, we will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.

Find out how we will work out your eligibility including if we have to use other years.

Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

Your tax agent or adviser cannot make the claim for you. You must make the claim yourself. If you use an agent you should contact them if you need any help or support.

How different circumstances affect the scheme

Check if your circumstances affect your eligibility, for the following:

  • if your return is late, amended or under enquiry
  • if you’re a member of a partnership
  • if you’re on or took parental leave
  • if you have loans covered by the loan charge
  • if you claim averaging relief
  • if you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis
  • if you’re above the state aid limits

Check if you’re eligible to claim

You can use our online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim. Your tax agent or adviser can also use the online tool on your behalf.

You’ll need your:

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

If you’re eligible

We’ll tell you the date you’ll be able to make a claim from and ask you to add your contact details. We will use these to remind you when the online service will be available.

If you’re not eligible

If we’ve told you that you’re not eligible to make a claim, you can ask HMRC to review this after you’ve used the online tool. If you want to do this at a later time, you’ll be able to use the online tool more than once.

Find other help and support you can get.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

We will work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then we will divide by 3.

The grant will be 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. The online service will tell you how we’ve worked the grant out.

The grant amount we work out for you will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

Find out how we will work out your average trading profits including if you have not traded for all 3 years.

How to claim

The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC will aim to contact you by mid-May 2020 if you’re eligible, to invite you to claim using the GOV.UK online service. Payment will be made by early June 2020 if your claim is approved.

If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available. We will update this page with more information soon.

You do not need to contact HMRC now, as this will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. You should email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.

When you make your claim

You’ll only need your:

  • Self Assessment UTR - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
  • National Insurance number - if you do not have this find out how to get your lost National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online
  • bank account number and sort code you want us to pay the grant into (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)

You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.

If you claim the grant HMRC will treat this as confirmation you’re below the state aid limits.

HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate.

After you’ve claimed

Once you’ve submitted your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved. We will pay the grant into your bank account within 6 working days.

You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including:

  • the amount claimed
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus

You will need to report the grant:

  • on your Self Assessment tax return
  • as self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims
  • as self-employed income and that you’re working 16 hours a week for any tax credits claims

Other help you can get

Get other financial support

You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant. The grant may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get, but will not affect claims for earlier periods.

The government is also providing the following help for the self-employed:

If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Get help online

You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

Contacting HMRC

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.

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