The Government has faced a large amount of criticism over the last week or so since the initial help did not really take into consideration the 5 million self-employed workers in the UK. As a result, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced more measures yesterday (26thMarch).

What is SEISS?
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

The scheme will provide a taxable grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their average profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the next three months. It is expected to be operational by the beginning of June.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns for the last three years to calculate the size of the grant. If you have not got three years of accounts, then HMRC will work with what you have got. However, it remains uncertain exactly what support is available for those that are recently self-employed.

The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have trading profits of less than £50,000.

Who is Eligible?
In order to be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of partnership.
  • You will experience loss of trade due to COVID-19.
  • You would have filed the 2019 Self -Assessment Tax Return to HMRC.  If you have not done so, then you will have four weeks from 26th March to do so.
  • You have traded in 2019-20; would have been trading now had it not been for Covid-19 and intend to continue to trade afterwards.
  • You have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than 50% of your total income come from self-employment. The £50,000 trading profits refers to an average of last three tax return figures Submitted.

How can you apply?
The Government has asked that the self-employed taxpayers do not contact HMRC. They will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account in a single instalment.
HMRC is working hard to deliver the scheme; as previously stated, grants are expected to start to be paid out by beginning of June 2020.
Please be aware that 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.

For up to date information and to re-visit previous articles, please visit our dedicatedSupport for Tough Times page via our website

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