COVID-19 - Financial Support Information
Chancellors help announced for self employed
Self-employed finally received news of the government's coronavirus support package on Thursday evening 26 March, but the Chancellor's bailout is set to make you wait until the beginning of June for the pay out.
The Chancellor told self-employed workers that “you have not been forgotten” and “I know that many self-employed people are deeply anxious about the support available for them… To you, I say this: You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind. We are all in this together,”.
Sunak’s biggest lifeline to struggling self-employed was a new self-employed income support scheme that treats these workers with the same parity as furloughed employees, under the coronavirus jobs retention scheme.
The new scheme will pay those “who make the majority of their income from self employment” 80% of average monthly profits for the last three years up to a maximum of £2,500.
Sunak confirmed that the scheme will be open for “at least three months” but as he has done with other COVID-19 measures, he has the option to extend it if necessary.
In order for self employed workers to qualify for this scheme you must have filed a 2018/19 SA tax return.
The government added this condition to minimise fraud, but the Chancellor admitted that they’re designing these schemes at pace and “shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of good”.
People who started trading in 2019/20 would need to “look at the extra support in the welfare system” i.e. Universal Credit.
The Chancellor added that anyone who missed the 31 January SA deadline had four weeks to submit their tax return in order to meet scheme’s requirements.
So self-employed workers have received some clarity from today’s announcement, but they still have a little more waiting to do.
First HMRC will contact the self employed directly and ask they apply through an online portal, which isn’t available yet - We will advise you as soon as it is available.
These grants don’t kick in until June but pay outs will then be backdated to 1 March.
Since June is over two months away, self- employed people unable to work will instead have to bridge the gap by claiming universal credit in full.
NIC changes afoot?
What could be an interesting result of this new scheme mirroring the PAYE jobs retention scheme is the suggestion of NIC changes once the pandemic subsides.
The Chancellor made an “observation” that there is a discrepancy in the self-employed and employed, which could lead to levelling income tax and NIC for the self employed.
“I must be honest and point out that in devising this scheme – in response to many calls for support – it is now much harder to justify the inconsistent contributions between people of different employment statuses,” he said.
“If we all want to benefit equally from state support, we must all pay in equally in future.”
If you have additional questions regarding your entitlment you can get these answered on the support numbers below.
As you can imagine these lines are very busy but please bare with them.
If your questions or needs are not urgent call them later so they can work through the most urgent first.
They are in the process of changing the system to online where you register then wait for a call back from them. (we will include the details as they become available)
Universal Credit Helpline - 0800 328 5644
HMRC Coronavirus Helpline - 0300 456 3565
What should you do next?
2018-2019 tax return
If you have not already submitted your 2018-2019 tax return the Government has granted you a 4 week extension from today (26-03-20) to submit it (without penalty).
These are tough times for us all and we want to help; you can submit this return through our app for £48 (normally £120).
You don't need to know how to submit a tax return as the App will do this for you.
You only need to complete the simple tax questions under the "My account" tab then enter your Income - enter your expenses - then hit submit.
2019-2020 tax return
"At the moment" there is no rush to get this return submitted, although this may change.
The earliest you can submit this return is 6 April, If this was your first year SE we'd reccomend getting it submitted, the latest is January next year.
You don't need to pay the tax for this year until January 2020, but while you have all this time on your hands why not get it submitted in April?
That way when you do finally get back to work, you can forget about tax and get on with earning again.
We are open and here to help you - just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you usually within 24hrs.
Information provided is changing daily but is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this page). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.