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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – Act Now!

The UK Government is continuing to provide daily updates and publications on their measures to deal with the disruptions caused by COVID-19.  A recent update includes further details on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme being launched on 13 May 2020. Useful links to UK Government guidance and our previous updates can be found at the end of this article.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Last month the UK Government announced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to provide grants to self-employed individuals whose business has been impacted by COVID-19.  The guidance has been updated and the scheme is due to launch from 13 May 2020.  There are a number of actions we recommend you  take NOW – see below.

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.  If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade, or take on other employment.

There is now an online tool to find out if you are eligible to make a claim.  You will need your Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and your National Insurance number.  The tool can be found here.  This tool checks the eligibility criteria against your tax returns.  There are further eligibility criteria you will need to satisfy if the tool confirms you are eligible such as you traded in the tax year 2019/20, you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/21 and your trade has been adversely affected by COVID-19.

If the tool advises you are not eligible for the scheme you can ask HMRC to review this if you believe the assessment to be incorrect.  A link to contact HMRC is available once you have used the tool.

If you are eligible, to make a claim you will need your:

  • Self-Assessment UTR
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • Bank account number and sort code

Agents cannot make this claim on your behalf.  Agents do not have a personal Government Gateway user ID for their clients.  CFW will be able to assist you with your claim however, we will have no facility to make the claim.

You must make the claim yourself using your personal Government Gateway user ID and password.   If you do not have a Government Gateway user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online with the tool.

The scheme launches on 13 May 2020.  If you are eligible, HMRC will tell you the date from when you can make your claim.  This will be a time and date from 13 May 2020 onwards but may not be on 13 May 2020 itself.  If your claim is approved, you will receive your payment within 6 working days.

Actions to take now

  • Use the tool to check your eligibility for the scheme.
  • If you are eligible to make a claim, follow the ‘Continue’ link at the end of the tool and provide the additional details requested.
  • If you do not have a Government Gateway user ID we recommend you obtain one as soon as possible.  The Government Gateway user ID is individual to you.  CFW as your agent does not have this and you will need to create one if you do not have one.  This can be obtained by following the ‘Continue’ link once the tool has confirmed you are eligible.
  • If you are not eligible to make a claim but believe you do meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme, follow the ‘You can ask HMRC to review your eligibility, if you think you should be able to claim’ link at the end of the tool to request HMRC review your eligibility.

UK Government guidance on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme can be found here.

UK Government guidance on how the grant is worked out for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme can be found here.

A tool to check if you are eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme can be found here.

Links

Our previous updates can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn or on our website blog.

A UK Government business support website can be found here.  It contains guidance on all Coronavirus financial measures and business advice.

A UK Government general COVID-19 support website can be found here.  It contains guidance on all matters pertaining to the Coronavirus.

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