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

  • 2 min read
  • Last updated 24 Nov 2022

Earlier in the year, the UK Government announced a COVID-19 self-employed income support scheme for the self-employed who were affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Here’s how it works.

How much can you get?

There are five grants.

  1. The first was available to claim until July 2020; the second was available from 17th August 2020
    1. 70% of your taxable profits from self-employment, averaged over the last three years (less if you’re newly self-employed) as a taxable grant 
    2. It’s not a loan – you don’t need to pay it back
    3. The maximum you could get was £2,190 for three months
    4. You could apply until 19th October and get the grant for all three months
    5. The maximum you could can get was £6,570

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

  1. The third was available to claim from 1st November 2020
    1. 80% of your taxable profits from self-employment
    2. Again, it’s not a loan
    3. The maximum you can get from November to 31st December is £7,500, paid in a single instalment
  2. The fourth grant was available to claim from April 2021
    1. It covers February, March, April
    2. To be eligible, you must have filed your 2019/20 tax return by 2nd March 2021
    3. It covers 80% of your monthly profits up to £2,500 per month
  3. The fifth grant will be available to claim from late July 2021
    1. It covers May, June, July, August
    2. It’s a taxable grant
    3. To be eligible, you must:
      1. Have filed your 2019/20 tax return by 2nd March 2021
      2. Be currently trading but impacted by COVID
      3. Have stopped trading temporarily as a result of COVID
    4. It covers up to 80% of your trading profits or less than 30% depending on the impact COVID had on your business

Do I qualify for COVID-19 self-employed income support?

All grants (so far) have the same eligibility criteria:

  • Your income must be mostly through self-employment
  • You have to earn less than £50,000 per year
  • You’re already registered as self-employed and traded in the 2020/21 tax year
  • You must have already filed your 2019/20 Self Assessment tax return
  • You intend to continue trading but your profits have been reduced (or temporarily stopped) by the pandemic

What you need to do to claim the COVID-19 self-employed income support 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 was 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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