Government support for self-employed

Income Support Scheme

It is possible for self-employed to claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme through HMRC. 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.

If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected you must make your claim for the first grant on or before 13 July 2020.

This scheme is being extended. If you’re eligible for the second and final grant, and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 you’ll be able to make a claim in August 2020. You can claim for the second grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant. Find out more about the extension to the scheme.

Eligibility: 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

How much you can claim:
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.

You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Visit the website for further information

Tax relief

If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

Eligibility: If you are self-employed you are eligible.  

How to apply: This will be automatically applied if you do not pay in July. Do check with HMRC that you are eligible and also with your bank if you are on Direct Debit payments.

Find more information here

Universal Credit

You could be eligible to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance. From 6 April the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change will apply to all Universal Credit claimants and will last for the duration of the outbreak.

Eligibility: You can apply if you are: 

– On low income or out of work  
– 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17) under State pension age (or your partner is)  
– Applicant and partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you  

Further eligibility details here
Further claims guidance is available here.

Application Through the Universal Credit Website


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