The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, has announced more measures designed to help the self-employed through the coronavirus crisis.
The key announcements are:
- Self-employed Income Support Scheme – the Government will pay self-employed people a taxable grant worth 80% of average monthly profits over the past three years up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be open to people across the UK for three months and it will be extended if necessary.
- The scheme will be open to anyone with trading profits up to £50,000.
- People will be able to claim these grants and continue to do business.
- To minimise fraud, only those already in self-employment, who have a tax return for 2019 can apply.
- HMRC are working on the scheme and it is expected that people will be able to access the scheme no later than the beginning of June. HMRC will contact eligible individuals with an online form. The grant will be paid straight into bank accounts.
- Anyone who missed the filing deadline in January will have four weeks from today to submit their tax return.
The Chancellor said that 95% of those who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme. He acknowledged that self-employed people are struggling right now and he reiterated the steps he has already taken to provide interim support:
- Access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
- Income tax payments due in July can be deferred until the end of Jan 2021.
- Self-employed individuals can access Universal Credit in full.
TIGA’s dedicated COVID-19 web page can be accessed here.
The latest guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for employers, employees and businesses can be found here.