The government has announced a new scheme that will pay self-employed people a taxable grant worth 80% of average monthly income, capped at £2,500pm.
Income will be calculated by taking the average of income over the last three years from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Self-employed people can claim these grants and continue to do business. This differs from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where workers must remain at home.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will be open to anyone with all of the following:
Trading profits of less than £50,000 a year;
Make their majority of income from being self-employed; and
Have a self-employed tax return from 2019
If you are employed but earn income by being self-employed as a ‘side job’ will not qualify.
If you did not submit your tax return by the due date of 31 January 2020, and have not yet submitted one, you can still submit a tax return for 2019 for a further four weeks from today.
In terms of application for the scheme, there are no steps to take. HMRC will contact eligible self-employed people directly and pay the grant straight into their bank account after inviting them to fill out an online form.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will be open to people across UK for at least 3 months. However, the scheme is unlikely to be up and running before June, so it will not help with immediate cash flow issues.
The Government’s offer of financial support to the self employed does not go nearly far enough.
It provides no sick pay to the self employed, offers nothing for those newly self employed, nothing to those who make up a substantial part of their income through self employment but not the majority, and is based on profits not gross income, so those with high expenses will get very little out of this.
And to top it off the self employed won’t see a penny until sometime in June – that’s 8-12 weeks from now! This will force those who can work to do so at risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 and those who can’t work will face destitution.