Financial Support for the Self-Employed

Andrew J P Wilson

Published by
Andrew J P Wilson

27th March 2020

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

As anticipated the Chancellor, yesterday (26 March), 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.

This is similar to the equivalent support offered to employees in recent days.

There are however crucial differences in relation to the scheme for assistance to be put in place 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.

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 to apply.

There is a sting in the tail however –
1. This income support will cover a three month period ro 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.

To participate in this scheme you must meet the qualifying threshold as a self-employed person. The scheme does not cover for example 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 your WJM contact in the first instance for further advice.

Please remember that we at WJM are here to help during this time, so please don't hesitate to get in touch if there is anything you think we can help with.

Liam Entwistle ( lae@wjm.co.uk)

Martin Stephen (mss@wjm.co.uk)

Andrew Wilson (ajpw@wjm.co.uk)

John Grant (jg@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 March 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.