Although the self employed were told they may have to wait until June before they received any financial help, from yesterday (Monday 4th May), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) started contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.
HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return – and returns for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 where needed – to determine their eligibility and is contacting customers who may be eligible via email, text message or letter.
If you haven’t had an e mail yet don’t worry – HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.
In order to receive quick confirmation from the eligibility checker, individuals should:
- have their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and their National Insurance Number to hand
- make sure their details are up-to-date in their Government Gateway accountclaim. They will also be encouraged to update their contact details.
You cannot access the financial support yet. The claims service will open on 13th May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. You’ll need to make the claim yourself, although you can seek advice from an agent if you use one.
The claims process will be very simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25th May, or within six working days of completing a claim.
How To Claim
All you will need are your Government Gateway user ID and password, bank account number and sort code.
- HMRC will calculate the income support you’re entitled to, based on the information you have submitted in your previous tax returns.
- After they have received your claim and verified it, they will pay the money directly into your bank account within six working days.
Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and they:
- earn at least half of their income through self-employment
- have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
- traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
This scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where the government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.
Wider government support
Where individuals are ineligible for the scheme, HMRC will direct people to guidance setting out the scheme conditions to help them understand why they are ineligible, and advise on other support available to them such as:
- income tax deferrals
- rental support
- Universal Credit
- access to mortgage holidays
- the HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme eligibility checker
- guidance: Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- guidance: How HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- guidance: How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme