Following growing pressure to do more to support the UK’s five million self-employed workers during the COVID-19 crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak last night announced the Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Similar to what was introduced in the Job Retention Scheme, the new measures will offer those who are self-employed a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

To be eligible, a self-employed worker should not have trading profits in excess of £50,000 per year but should earn most of their income through self-employment and must have filed a Self-Assessment Tax Return for 2018/19. Those eligible and trading now will also still be able to make a claim whilst they continue to do business.

To avoid fraud and any misuse of the scheme, it will only be open to those who are already self-employed and have filed, or are still yet to file, a Tax Return for 2018/19. Those who missed the Self-Assessment deadline in January 2020, now have four weeks from yesterday to send in their outstanding Tax Return to HMRC.

Those who are eligible will be contacted directly by the HMRC and will need to complete a simple online form.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is being designed by HMRC from scratch and will cover the three months to May 2020. Grants will be paid directly into the self-employed worker’s bank account in a single lump sum instalment covering all three months. HMRC will begin making payments at the start of June 2020.

Information remains limited, but we will ensure that you remain up to date as further details are announced.

Keep informed of the latest information regarding COVID-19 and the support available by visiting the dedicated resource centre on our website.

As always, you can contact your Champion advisor or your local Champion office for more information.