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Chancellor Outlines Support Measures for Self Employed

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has this evening, 26th March 2020, outlined the Government’s measures to support the self employed during the COVID-19 pandemic, by announcing a new “Self Employed Income Support Scheme” to support self employed individuals who are adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Points to note are as follows:

– Applicable self employed are entitled to receive the payment of a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 per month (recipients of the grant will need to declare this on their 2020/2021 tax return)

– The grant will be backdated to 1 March 2020, and will be paid as a lump sum when made available in June 2020

– The scheme will be made available to self employed across the United Kingdom for at least 3 months, with the option to be extended for longer if necessary

– Grants will be available to claim whilst simultaneously continuing to trade (where appropriate to do so)

– Grants are available to self employed with trading profits of up to £50,000 p.a.

– Grants are available to self employed who have submitted a tax return for the financial period 2018/2019

– For those who have been trading for less than 3 years, the averaging is undertaken over that period of time

– The Chancellor has granted a concession to those who missed the tax return deadline of 31 January by allowing a further 4 weeks from 26th March 2020 to submit their 2018/2019 tax return, in ordered to be suitable for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme

– To clarify, if you only started trading during the current tax year, you do not qualify for the relief.

HMRC are currently putting the vehicle in place for the submission of applicable claims, such process will be made available no later than the beginning of June 2020. HMRC will contact those applicable directly, with a link to complete an online form, upon receipt of which, grants will be paid directly into claimant bank accounts.

To address the immediate concerns of the self employed in the intervening period, the Chancellor issued reminders of various other support measures available, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the deferral of the self assessment tax return date of July 2020 to January 2021, and access to the Universal Credit system for the self employed.

This updated information will be incorporated into our special COVID-19 Support Guide for Business which will be re-issued on 27 March 2020.

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