March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Updated: help for the Self Employed

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused footfall in London to evaporate. This has meant that all taxi drivers in London are now facing financial distress. Thankfully, on March 26th 2020 HMRC announced that they would be providing financial support to the Self-Employed to support them through the pandemic.

It is called the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

This blog post answers some of the key questions being asked.

Who can apply?

You can apply for the scheme if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have submitted your Self Assessment Tax Return for the tax year 2018-19
  • You traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • You are trading when you apply, OR would be except for COVID-19
  • You intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • You have lost trading profits due to COVID-19

How much will you get?

You will get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the previous three tax years. If you have traded for less than three years then they will take the average of the years that you have traded instead.

You will get a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

When are grants paid?

Grants will start being paid in June, covering the months of March - May. The scheme may be extended further.

The grant will be paid directly into your bank account, in one installment.

What do I need to do to apply?

You cannot apply for this scheme yet - We will update this when you can.

HMRC will contact those who are eligible directly but has not said when this will be yet. It is expected that this will be in June-2020.

What if I need to start employment in order to support myself, will this jeopardise my claim?

No. The criteria for applying does not state that you cannot be working during this time period. Therefore if you need to work (and are lucky enough to get a job) then you can and you should still be entitled to claim the grant in June.

What other help is available?

  • Income tax payments due in July 2020 can be deferred under the self-assessment system until January 2021.This is automatic, so you do not need to do anything.

  • You can apply for universal credit; the Government has removed the minimum income floor

Scam Warnings

We have already seen a large number of scam attempts on our clients and on our family.HMRC will only allow you to access this scheme through - If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be HMRC, hang-up the phone, do not click any links and do not provide any of your card or bank details.


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