Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme & Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme
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.
Who can apply
You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
traded in the tax year 2019-20
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 at least one of the following conditions being true:
having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period
If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.
If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.
HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.
How much you’ll get
You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):
2016 to 2017
2017 to 2018
2018 to 2019
To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.
It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.
We’ll pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.
How to claim
As you prepare to make a claim, please note: the online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20 April 2020 – please do not try to access it before this date as it won’t be available
the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim
you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent
claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact us unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or our webchat service
we cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.
After you’ve applied
Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, we will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.
If you claim tax credits you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.
Other help you can get
The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:
increased amounts of Universal Credit
If you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.
Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.
Your employer could pay 80% of your wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.
You’ll still be paid by your employer and pay taxes from your income. You cannot undertake work for your employer while on furlough. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April.
Check if you’re eligible
Both you and your employer must agree to put you on furlough - so speak to your employer about whether they can claim. You cannot apply for the scheme yourself. Once agreed your employer must write to you confirming you have been furloughed to be eligible to claim.
Any UK employer with a UK bank account will be able to claim, but you must have been on your employer’s PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020. You can be on any type of contract, including a zero-hour contract or a temporary contract.
This scheme does not apply if you are self-employed or to any income from self-employment.
If you’re on sick leave or self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), speak to your employer about whether you’re eligible - you should get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) while you are on sick leave or self-isolating, but can be furloughed after this.
If you are shielding in line with public health guidance, then you should speak to your employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.
The grant will start on the day you were placed on furlough and this can be backdated to 1 March.
How much you’ll get
Your employer will get a grant to cover 80% of your monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500. Firms will be eligible for the grant once you have been furloughed, from 1 March. Your employer:
will pay you at least 80% of your usual monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500, as your wage
can claim for a minimum of 3 weeks and for up to 3 months - but this may be extended
can choose to pay you more than the grant - but they do not have to
You’ll still pay Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and any other deductions from your wage.
If you are concerned that your employer is not paying you what you are entitled to then you should raise this with your employer in the first instance, then with Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).
While you’re on furlough
Your employer will need to notify you before putting you on furlough.
Once you are on furlough you will not be able to work for your employer, but you can undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, as long as you’re not:
making money for your employer
providing services to your employer
If workers are required to for example, complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.
Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Your employer can still make you redundant while you’re on furlough or afterwards.
Your rights as an employee are not affected by being on furlough, including redundancy rights.
If your employer chooses to place you on furlough, you will need to remain on furlough for a minimum of 3 weeks. However, your employer can place you on furlough more than once, and one period can follow straight after an existing furlough period, while the scheme is open. The scheme will be open for at least 3 months.
If you do not want to go on furlough
If your employer asks you to go on furlough and you refuse you may be at risk of redundancy or termination of employment, depending on the circumstances of your employer. However, this must be in line with normal redundancy rules and protections.
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This article intends to give only a general informative picture and should not, in any case, be taken as a rule. It is strongly recommended to seek a full and professional guidance specifically for your circumstances before making any decisions.