What is it?
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.
To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:
Be self-employed or a member of a partnership;
Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment?
This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Accessibility to the scheme
Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by the beginning of June 2020. For eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have 4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme. HMRC is publishing guidance on the scheme, available here. This guidance will continue to be updated.
When can you access the scheme
HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid by the beginning of June 2020. This time is necessary to ensure that the scheme is both deliverable and fair. In the interim, the self-employed will still able eligible for other government support including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans. Further information on how to access these schemes can be found here.
Hopefully, this information is helpful to you Sole Traders and you can continue your business in peace. If you want to find out beforehand if you are entitled to The Income support Scheme try our handy Calculator below.
Bonus content for businesses Brick and Mortar
Small Business Grant Funding
The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
You will be eligible if:
1. Your business is based in England* AND
2. In receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11 March AND
3. You are a business that occupies a property
You do not need to do anything. Your Local Authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. However if you curious to see if you could be selected try our handy calculator to found out if you qualified.
Local Authorities will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant. Any inquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant Local Authority. To find your Local Authority, use this search tool.