Government initiatives – The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

NB: This is not applicable to PSC contractors, please see here.

In a time of unprecedented uncertainty and fear in communities around the world, the Government’s fiscal initiatives to support businesses and individuals been have largely welcomed. Until recently however, the self-employed have faced increased uncertainty through lack of measures supporting them.

In response and following considerable pressure, the Government has implemented an income support scheme exclusively for the Self-Employed. Bringing with it more restrictions than similar initiatives for the employed sector, there will still be many lacking the support they so desperately need, but for those who qualify, safe harbour is coming in June 2020.

The Criteria

To access self-employed initiatives, you must meet the following criteria.

  1. You must have submitted your Self-Assessment for 2018/19. (If you have not you have four weeks to do so)
  2. You must be currently trading and have traded in the 2019/20 tax year
  3. You must have lost trading or partnership trading profits due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Where you qualify, The Government will pay you a taxable grant worth 80% of average monthly profits over the last three years up to £2500 per month, for a period of three months and which may be subject to extension.

Perhaps the most useful distinction here from the employee income support scheme is that you can claim these grants and still continue to work as a self-employed person where you are able. This is in contrast to furloughed employees who cannot work for the organisation.

However, the government states that in order for the funds to reach those most in need;

  1. The initiative is open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000. If you earn over this, you will not have access to the scheme.
  2. It is also the case that you must make the majority (51%) of your income being self-employed. Therefore, those who are employed in the day and do some extra work for themselves which makes up a minority of the work undertaken will not gain access.

How to access

HMRC will shortly contact you directly and you will be asked to fill out a form. Once approved HMRC will pay the grant directly into your bank account. The aim is to pay at the beginning of June (3 months backdated) and whilst the government is hoping to be quicker this is unlikely based on the complexity of the task.

HMRC Time to Pay

HMRC have also set up a Payment Support Service for anyone who is unable to make any other tax payments to HMRC as a result of Coronavirus;

Payment Support Service- Telephone: 0300 200 3835

How can we help you?

As specialists in advising the self-employed industry, WTT can talk you through any of the above measures, to help you navigate your way through an unprecedented time. There will be no fee for this, please simply contact our client services team on 020 3468 0000 or info@wttconsulting.co.uk to arrange a call with one of our specialists.

Alternatively, for access to our free Contractor Newsletter which offers updated advice on a monthly basis along with a wide variety of other useful tools please sign up below.

https://mailchi.mp/wttconsulting/contractornewslettersignup