Self-employed and financially impacted by Covid-19?

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coronavirus money manual

government support

What is the Self-employment Income Support Scheme?

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme was announced by Rishi Sunak and allows self-employed people to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

When will it be paid?

The lump sum paid in June for Mar/Apr/May. This is to allow people who haven't filed their 2018/2019 tax return, to do so now

Am I eligible?

To qualify, you must….

  • Have less than £50k profit a year, HMRC will work this out from your….
    • 2018/19 tax return, or
    • the average of your 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax returns, and...
  • Have filed a tax return for 2018/19
If you haven’t done one for 2018/19, get it in sharpish, 23rd Apr is new deadline

I need income now, what can I do?

For many, the wait until June isn't making things easy.

  • You might be eligible for Universal Credit and ESA, but criteria is tight
  • Focus on delaying and cutting your bills….are you in credit on your utilities?
  • Contact your lenders asap to secure breathing space and perhaps set up an arrangement such as a mortgage/debt/council tax holiday

Can I carry on working/trading and still get the ££?

Yes. It’s ‘furloughed’ PAYE employees who aren’t allowed to work. You can carry on working/trading, but don’t break govt public health guidelines

It’s called a ‘grant’, do I have to pay it back?


Will it be taxed?


"I’m a freelancer”…"I’m a sole-trader"… that the same as self-employed?

Self-employed simply refers to the way you pay your tax, i.e. via self assessment

I’ve been ‘furloughed’ at 80% of my salary. I’m also a freelancer at weekends. Will I be eligible?

Only if more than 50% of your income comes from your freelance work

I went self-employed in 2019. Will I get help?

Not if you went self-employed after April 2019, and therefore haven’t filed a tax return yet

I stopped being self-employed recently. Can I claim for freelance work carried out in previous years?

No! You have to be trading now or would be except for Covid-19. Also, you have to have traded in the tax year 2019/20

How do I make a claim?

You don’t. When the scheme is open, HMRC will be in touch if you are eligible

Hang on a sec...I’ve just had an email/text/call from HMRC saying I’m eligible

This is a scam. BEWARE!


more support

I'm not eligible for the government Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Unfortunately some self-employed people have fallen through the cracks and won't benefit from the government Self-employment Income Support Scheme. If that's you, don't panic. 1) Your first step is to look for other ways the government might be able to support you. Use a benefits calculator such as Turn2Us You may be eligible for: Universal Credit ESA 2) Next, focus on delaying/cutting your bills…. Check out this page for more info on saving money, mortgage holidays and delaying payments


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