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Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced measures to help support the self-employed and partnerships, called the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme (CSEISS).

What is the CSEISS?

If you’re self-employed, or a member of a partnership and you have lost income due to coronavirus, a taxable grant will be paid to the self-employed or partnerships, worth 80% of your trading profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. 

Initially, this will be available for three months in one lump-sum payment and will start to be paid from the beginning of June. The government has confirmed that after the three month period this may be extended if needed. 

You cannot apply for this scheme yet, and HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online. The government advice states that individuals do not need to contact HMRC directly now, and that doing so could delay the work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

Am I eligible?

If you are self-employed or you’re a member of a partnership, you may be eligible for the CSEISS. On top of that, you must also receive more than half your income from being self-employed and: 

  • Have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • Traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • Are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000, and more than half of your income must come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • Having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • Having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return. If you have not submitted your 2018-19 Self-Assessment tax return, to qualify you have until the 23 April 2020 to do so.

As GOV.UK have stated, you will only be able to access this scheme through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails you claiming to be from HMRC, and 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.

What other help is available?

The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:

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