self employed, freelance

The scheme announced by the chancellor will provide grants to self-employed individuals or partnerships who are negatively impacted by COVID-19.    The grants are worth 80% of profits but up to a cap of £2,500.

To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  1. You must be self-employed or a member of a partnership.   The HMRC database will already have details of your self-employed status.
  2. You must have filed a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. The Chancellor announced that those who have not yet filed their return for 2018/2019 will be given an additional 4 weeks to do so.
  3. You must have lost trading or partnership profits due to COVID-19.
  4. You also must have traded in the 2019/2020 tax year.  So if you ceased trading in the previous tax year you will not qualify for the scheme.
  5. You ceased trading because of the COVID-19 outbreak and it has a negative impact on your earnings.  When you’re able/allowed to trade again you fully intend to do so.
  6. Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions being met:
    1. Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19 was £50,000 or more.
    1. Your average trading profits and total income across the last 3 tax years was £50,000 or more.   Tax years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.  
  7. Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.

HMRC notes on how to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.  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.

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