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
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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