Covid-19: Income Support for Self-Employed Launches

Support for Self-Employed Launches

Covid-19 is not only a health crisis for self-employed launches but also a pressing employment crisis. The HMRC has begun to contact over 3 million taxpayers who could be qualifying for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) of the government to clarify the application process and encourage them to plan for a claim when the service opens next week (13th May 2020).

Covid-19: Income Support for Self-Employed People

In this article:

How the SEISS scheme works

HMRC advise and other assistance

How the SEISS scheme works

There is now an online checker that will verify your eligibility. You would need your exclusive taxpayer reference number (UTR) and National Insurance number to do so. SEISS will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average trading profits in one installment up to a limit of £7,500. Taxpayers are eligible if coronavirus has adversely impacted their business and:

  • At least half your earnings are earned through self-employment; 
  • Gain gross profits of at least £50,000 per annum;
  • Have done business in 2019/20 and submitted the self-assessment tax return for that year on or before 23 April 2020.

HMRC Advise and Other Assistance

Where people are not eligible for the scheme, HMRC will refer them to guidance setting out the criteria to help them understand why they are disqualified, and advice on other assistance that may be available to them, such as rental support,  Universal Credit, income tax deferment, access to mortgage holidays, and the numerous business support programmes that the government has put in place to protect organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The government said the program would be subject to an initial pilot of three months. To check the eligibility of persons and then invite applications, HMRC will use the details it has on file. The online service used for the scheme is not yet up and running, but as of May 13 individuals will be able to apply for the grant. HMRC has provided an online checker for self-employed individuals on the website to see if they are eligible by entering their taxpayer reference number and national insurance number.

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