Help for the self-employed – update

29th April 2020

Further information has been released in relation to support available for those who are self-employed.

If not already done so, please review our original guidance from 26th March 2020 in addition to the information below: –

  • This is a Grant. As such it is not repayable.
  • To qualify, your average profits over the last 3 tax years need to be less than £50,000 per year. HMRC will first review your 2018/19 tax return for your latest declared profits and work back from there to create your average.  For example, if in 2016/17 you reported a profit of £45,000, 2017/18 was £48,000 and 2018/19 was £65,000 the average is £52,667 so you would not qualify.  But if you reported a profit of £55,000 in 2016/17, 2017/18 was £30,000 and 2018/19 was £53,000 the average is £46,000 and you would qualify.
  • You MUST have submitted a tax return for the 2018/19 tax year. If you have not done so, then you are not eligible for the scheme.
  • You MUST have traded in the 2019/20 tax year and are currently trading or would have been had it not been for Coronavirus. You should also intend to trade during the 2020/21 tax year.  The Coronavirus will have also impacted on your profits.  HMRC will ask you to confirm these points when making the claim for the Grant.
  • If you only commenced self-employment during the 2018/19 tax year, HMRC will not pro-rata your profit but take the declared profit per your tax return and base the Grant on that.
  • If you have more than one source of income (i.e. employment and self-employment) then the self-employment element MUST make up more than 50% of your total income. If it is less than 50%, you are not eligible.
  • The Grant is worth up to £2,500 per month and is subject to tax and National Insurance. The Grant will therefore be declared on your 2020/21 self-assessment tax return.
  • The Grant is available for 3 months (but this may change) and will cover March, April and May 2020.
  • HMRC will contact you by post to advise whether you are eligible for the scheme. You do not need to contact HMRC to see if you are eligible.  HMRC advise that the letters will be issued mid-May 2020 to all those eligible.
  • The claim will be made via an online portal. The letter from HMRC will direct you to this and advise you of what you will need to do.
  • Once the claim has been made, payments will be sent directly to your nominated bank account in June 2020.
  • If you are able, you CAN continue to work and still receive the Grant from the Government.
  • If you need to make an application for Universal Credit, you can do so and still receive the Grant. Please refer to on advice about claiming Universal Credit.

Other points to note –

  • New Small Business Loans of up to £50,000 (or 25% of turnover) have been launched and will be available from 4th May 2020. The loans are fully guaranteed by the Government.  No fees or interest are charged to you in the first year and no loan repayments are due in the first year.
  • Business Interruption Loans are still available for loans over and above £50,000. As with the above, no fees or interest are charged to you in the first year and no loan repayments are due in the first year.
  • If you have a self-assessment tax liability due in July 2020, this can be deferred to January 2021 without penalty.

Finally, please be aware of scam e-mails, phone calls and text messages purporting to be from HMRC.