Self-employment Income Support scheme (SEISS)
The government has announced a Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) that will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to the virus.
This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
To qualify for the grant you must still be trading (or would be if it wasn’t for the virus), will continue to trade in the 2020-21 tax year and must have submitted a tax return for the 2018-19 tax year (up to 5th April 2019). Partners that have lost partnership income that meet these criteria can also apply.
Self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000, this can be either in the 2018-19 tax year or an average trading income over the past 3 tax years (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19) this may mean that those with more than £50,000 in 2018-19 may still be eligible if their average income over the 3 years is below £50,000. The trading profits must also be more than half of your total income during those years. For those who started trading after 2016-17 only those years for which they were trading will be used to calculate the average.
The 80% grant will be calculated by taking the average over the last 3 tax years (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19) up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months, this will be calcualted by HMRC once the grant has been applied for. Again, for those who started trading after 2016-17 only those years for which you were trading will be used to calculate the average.
HMRC haven’t started accepting applications for the grant yet but they have asked that people do not contact them as this could delay the scheme, HMRC will contact all self-employed individuals once they have assessed who is eligible.
Other schemes such as the VAT and self-assessment deferment, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, SSP relief package, small business grant funding and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme may also be available to the self-employed where they meet the criteria, more information can be found here.
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