Self Employed Income Support Scheme
This is a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months and will be given in one single lump payment at the beginning of June.
It is available for sole traders and members of a partnership who have submitted a tax return for the year 2018/2019. If you have not yet submitted your return then the Government have given you until the 26th April 2020 to do so. You will need to make an application to be included in the scheme and HMRC will contact you directly to complete the application.
If you are new to self-employment and have not completed at least one self-assessment then this grant is not available to you so you may want to consider applying for Universal Credit instead.
Self-employed people can access Universal Credit (subject to eligibility) at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees, approximately £94.25 per week.
You can apply for Universal Credit as well as the Self Employed Income Support Scheme above. There is no income requirement but you do need to have less than £16,000 in savings.
Advance payments are available to help you whilst your claim is processed and can be paid directly into your bank account within days. These are set up as interest-free loans which must be paid back within 12 months. The payment for these is taken directly out of your Universal Credit payment.
Any self-assessment payments due, normally for July 2020 have now been deferred until January 2021.
HMRC has also set up a dedicated COVID-19 helpline to help those in need, and they may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. HMRC will also waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19.
Contact your local council for details on the hardship fund made available to local authorities to help those who have become economically vulnerable due to COVID-19.