Last updated: 27/03/2020

Following the Chancellor’s announcement last night on how the Government propose to support the self employed through the current crisis, below are the details we know so far on how the scheme will work. If after reading the information you need to discuss matters further, please could you email (rather the phone) your point of contact at Tyrrell and Company and they will get back to you as soon as they can.

Q. Who can apply:

A. You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  1. have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  2. traded in the tax year 2019-20
  3. are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  4. intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  5. have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income comes from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  1. having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  2. having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading in the period between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

Q. How much will I get?

A. You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

The grant will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

Q. How do I apply?

A. You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme and grants are expected to start to be paid by the beginning of June 2020.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

Q. What happens after I’ve applied?

A. Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, they will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.

Q. Is any other help available?
A. The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:

If you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.