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How the COVID-19 self-employed income support scheme works

The UK Government has recently announced an income support scheme for the self-employed who are affected by the current COVID-19 crisis.

Here is how it works.

How much can you get?

There are two grants.

The first one is available right now:

  • 80% of your taxable profits from self-employment, averaged over the last three years (less if you’re newly self-employed) as a taxable grant. It’s not a loan – you don’t need to pay it back.
  • The maximum you can get is £2,500 per month, for three months.
  • You can apply until July 13, and get the grant for all three months.
  • Most you can get is £7,500.

The other grant will be available in August:

  • 70% of your taxable self-employment profits.
  • You can get up to £2,190 per month, for three months.
  • Most you can get is £6,570.

In total both grants can offer you £14,070 to help you get through the COVID-19 crisis.

Do you qualify?

  • First of all, both grants have the same eligibility criteria.
  • You have to earn income mostly through self-employment.
  • You have to earn less than £50,000 per year.
  • You must have already registered as self-employed and traded in the 2019/20 tax year.
  • You must have already filed your 2018/19 Self Assessment tax return.

Try our eligibility calculator

Have you already submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the 2018/19 tax year?
You could be eligible for a grant of up to £7,500 now and another one worth £6,570 in August

See how much you can actually get with this calculator.

What you need to do to claim this grant

  • If you have already filed your 2018/19 Self Assessment tax return by 23 April 2020, you’re good – you don’t need to do anything. HMRC will send you a letter (in June).
  • If you haven’t filed the 2018/19 tax return, unfortunately you’re not eligible. Just to be sure: the 2018/19 tax year ran from 6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019, and the deadline to file a tax return was 31 January 2020 (extended to 23 April 2020 just for this grant).

Other things you might want to know

  • You might also be eligible for business interruption loans or Universal Credit.
  • If you are instead claiming a tax rebate (like the CIS rebate) from the 2019/20 tax year, you can still file your tax return starting on 6 April, as normal.
  • The July Payment on Account deadline has moved to 31 January 2021 (the same day as the Self Assessment deadline).
  • If you have problems paying your tax bill, you can also contact HMRC to discuss your options. 

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