Covid-19: Advice for the Self Employed

If you are self-employed, please read the following information:

· The UK Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is open, to make sure people who work for themselves get the financial support they need. The Government will pay self-employed people across the whole UK who have been adversely affected by coronavirus a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months.

· And the scheme has been extended by the UK Government for another three months. From August you will be able to apply for a second grant worth 70 per cent of your average monthly trading profits over three months. This means you will be able to claim up to £6,570. Eligibility will be the same for both grants.

· You can apply using the simple form online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme/. Payments will then be made for successful applicants within 6 working days. You have until 13 July to apply for the first grant.

· The scheme is open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, meaning 95 per cent of people who are majority self-employed will be eligible for the scheme.

· HMRC will also ask people to demonstrate that the majority of their income is from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment, and who have a tax return for 2019, will be able to apply.

· If you are a self-employed parent who took time out of trading in the 2018-19 tax year, you will be able to use either your 2017-18 or both your 2016-17 and 2017-18 self-assessment returns as the basis for your eligibility.

· If you are newly self-employed and ineligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, you have until 10 July to claim up to £2,000 from your local authority. You will be eligible if you became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019, over half your income is from self-employment, and your trading profits were below £50,000 in financial year 2019-20. Further information is available at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/coronavirus/newly-self-employed-hardship-fund.

· The UK Government have also deferred income tax self-assessment payments. To help self-employed people, income tax self-assessment payments for July will be deferred until the end of January 2021.

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Published by Sarah Russell on behalf East Lothian Conservative and Unionist Association, 4 Church Street, Haddington EH41 3EX