On 26th March, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak held the daily briefing from Downing Street and announced a support package for the self-employed. This is in addition to the announcements Mr. Sunak made last week (20th March) where he unveiled plans for “unprecedented economic intervention” to support employees and businesses. The main details of this plan are:
- The Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme. This is open to those who were trading in the last financial year, still trading now, and planning to continue doing so this year
- It is a taxable grant and will be paid to the self-employed or partnerships who have suffered a loss of income. This will be worth 80% of their profits, capped at £2,500 per month. This will be for three months initially and will start to be payable in June
- Those who are eligible;
- Will receive more than half of their income from being self-employed
- Have 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.
- Mr. Sunak said the scheme will cover 95% of the self-employed, whose main source of income is from self-employment. The process for claiming from the scheme is as follows:
- HMRC will invite self-employed individuals to apply using HMRC data already held to establish eligibility
- The applicant will then need to confirm they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the application
- Applicants will also need to provide an account for the funds to be paid directly into
- There is no requirement for applicants to apply directly as HMRC are contacting people if they are eligible
Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will have 80% of their salary covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if operating through PAYE.
This update will no doubt provide some reassurance to the more than 5 million self-employed people in the UK.
As we continue to adjust and adapt to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents, both professionally and personally, there may be questions or concerns that you or your clients have; we are here to help you and can provide advice, support and guidance. Please contact one of our team and we will be happy to discuss.