The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak confirmed that the self-employed who have lost profits due to Coronavirus could be eligible for a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits of the past three years, up to £2,500 per month, broadly aligning the scheme with the Job Retention Scheme for the employed.
If records are not available for the full three-year period, the average profits will be taken from those years available.
Grants would be available for a minimum three-month period, and longer if necessary.
You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
- have submitted your tax return for the tax year 2018-19
- have traded in the tax year 2019-20 and are trading when you apply, (or would be except for COVID-19)
- intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
- have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by meeting at least one of the following conditions:
- trading profits in 2018-19 were less than £50,000 and constituted more than half of your total taxable income, or
- average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 were less than £50,000 and constituted more than half of your average taxable income in the same period
Access will be through an online form with funds paid directly into the individual’s bank account in one instalment.
Due to the new 4-week tax return filing window and resources already being deployed to the Job Retention Scheme, the application system is anticipated to be available by early June at the latest. Payments will be backdated.
If individuals are in immediate financial need they should apply for Universal Credit or contact their bank for short term finance to bridge the gap.
What you need to do
- If you haven’t yet filed your 2018/19 tax return, please contact us to file this by 23 April 2020 to ensure eligibility
- Await the online application process to submit information to HMRC. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.
You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.
This information is based on information available as of 26 March 2020. Further information and guidance will be made available as it is released.
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