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Help for the Self Employed

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced measures to support the self-employed and partnerships.

The scheme is called the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme (CSEISS).

If you have suffered a loss in income, a taxable grant will be paid to the self-employed or partnerships, worth 80% of profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

The government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended, giving more security to individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus in the coming months, the Chancellor announced on Friday 29 May 2020. Rishi Sunak announced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended – with those eligible able to claim a second and final grant capped at £6,570.

  • Individuals can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until 13 July. Under the first grant, eligible individuals can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. Those eligible have the money paid into their bank account within six working days of completing a claim.
  • Applications for the second grant will open in August. Individuals will be able to claim a second taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
  • The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant: for example, they may only have been adversely affected by COVID-19 in this later phase.

Who can claim?

You can claim if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and:

  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus, for example if you are unable to work because you:

  • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
    • you have had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come in to work

You should not claim the grant if you are above the state aid limits or operating a trade through a trust.

Who is eligible?

HMRC have started contacting self-employed people who are likely to be eligible, through a combination of emails, SMS texts and letters, to tell them what they need to do to get ready to claim.  Applications will open in tranches based on the unique taxpayer number (UTR) given to all self-employed taxpayers. 

To work out your eligibility HMRC will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self-Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.

If you are not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self-Assessment tax return, HMRC will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.

Check if you are eligible to claim

HMRC have an online eligibility checker which links from their web page:  https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

If HMRC tell you that you are not eligible to make a claim, you can ask HMRC to review this after you have used the online tool. If you want to do this later, you will be able to use the online tool more than once.

If you cannot find your UTR ask us because we keep this on file for you. We also keep your National Insurance number on file as you need this too.

Once you have done the eligibility checker, and you are eligible for the Grant, HMRC will ask for your contact details and they will email you between the 13 and 18 May. The HMRC portal opens on different days for different taxpayers. 

How to claim?

We as your tax advisers cannot make claims on your behalf

Assuming you are eligible to make a claim, in order to do so you must have the following information: –

  1. Your Self-assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference Number
  2. Your National Insurance Number
  3. Your Government Gateway ID and Password
  4. Bank account number and sort code for payment

As stated before please contact us if you are unable to locate 1 or 2 above. However, the biggest issue is likely to be item 3.

IF YOU DO NOT KNOW OR DON’T HAVE A GOVERNMENT GATEWAY ID AND PASSWORD WE RECOMMEND YOU APPLY AS SOON A S POSSIBLE TO AVOID DELAYS IN RECEIVING PAYMENT. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO SUBMIT A PAPER CLAIM (FULL DETAILS NOT YET PUBLISHED) BUT THIS WILL ALSO LEAD TO DELAYS IN PAYMENT.

Details on the application process are set out below. This will take a few days before it is ready.

If you need any assistance please contact us as soon as possible.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

After you have claimed

Once you have submitted your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved. HMRC will pay the grant into your bank account within 6 working days.

You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including:

  • the amount claimed
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus

You will need to report the grant:

  • on your Self-Assessment tax return
  • as self-employed income for any Universal Credit claims
  • as self-employed income and that you are working 16 hours a week for any tax credits claims

Please contact us if you need help with your claim.

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