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COVID-19 Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

COVID-19 Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Andrew J P Wilson

Published by
Andrew J P Wilson

23rd April 2020

An update to this article can be found here: https://www.wjm.co.uk/news/covid-19-self-employed-income-support-scheme-update

As anticipated the Chancellor has announced a package of support for the self-employed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Support for the self-employed will, according to the press release issued by HM Treasury, consist of financial support in the form of 80% of the profits of self-employed individuals up to £2,500 per month. The grant will be subject tax and National Insurance contributions but does not need to be repaid.

This is similar to the equivalent support offered to employees.

There are however crucial differences in relation to the scheme to be put in place for the self-employed.

The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. Anyone with a trading profit above this level is excluded from the scope of the scheme. You must satisfy HMRC that you intend to continue trading through 2020/21 and that you have lost trading profits as a result of coronavirus. You must be trading when you apply or would be but for Coronavirus.

To qualify, more than half your income in these periods must come from self-employment.

Only those who are already in self-employment and meet the above conditions will be eligible.

There is a sting in the tail however –
1. This income support will cover a three-month period to May 2020 and will be paid as a single lump sum at the beginning of June; and
2. You must have submitted your tax return to HMRC by the January deadline though as a concession you will be given a further period of four weeks’ grace to do so. The deadline for submission of a tax return is 23 April 2020 if you have not already done so.

To participate in this scheme, you must meet the qualifying threshold as a self-employed person. The scheme does not cover dividend payments which may have been made in lieu of salary for example.

You do not need to do anything if you meet the criteria set out above. HMRC will contact you direct and invite you to apply under the scheme.

To see if you qualify for this assistance please contact any of our team for further advice. Call 0141 248 3434 or email enquiries@wjm.co.uk 

The information contained in this newsletter is for general guidance only and represents our understanding of relevant law and practice as at April 2020. Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP cannot be held responsible for any action taken or not taken in reliance upon the contents. Specific advice should be taken on any individual matter. Transmissions to or from our email system and calls to or from our offices may be monitored and/or recorded for regulatory purposes. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 302 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RZ. A limited liability partnership registered in Scotland, number SO 300336.