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Billions provided to self-employed through income support scheme

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Funding and support, Self-employed people and sole traders

At HMRC we are continuing to support businesses through these extraordinary times. From deferral of VAT and Self-Assessment payments, changes to Statutory Sick Pay and increases in tax credits - there is help available for the vast majority of businesses impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). So far, the Job Retention Scheme has provided £11.1bn to allow UK employers to cover 80% of wages for the employees they’ve had to put on temporary leave (furlough).

Image of Jo Rowland
Jo Rowland, Director, HMRC COVID-19 Response Unit

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

And last week HMRC launched the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) specifically to help the many self-employed people who are also impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). Under the rules of the scheme, self-employed people can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment. So far we have given out £6.1bn in grants.

Teams across HMRC have been working around the clock to get this system ready as quickly as possible to give self-employed people the financial support they need. Millions of customers were able to confirm they were eligible for the scheme by using our online eligibility checker.

Last week, those customers who have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) were able to start making their claims. The process is simple – we’ll calculate what a customer is due based on the information they provided to us already, and they will have the money paid into their bank account within six working days once they’ve completed a claim.

Help for those who are aren’t eligible

We have contacted all those we think could have been eligible. For anyone who hasn’t been contacted by us, it is likely that the information they or their tax agent or accountant provided tells us that they are ineligible. The eligibility checker offers an opportunity for people who think that they might be eligible but haven’t heard from us to check.

We know that this is a really worrying time for a lot of people, and for those not eligible for money under this scheme, they may still qualify for other forms of help. Visit GOV.UK to see what support is available, which could include:

  • delaying VAT payments
  • delaying a Self Assessment payment on account
  • arranging to pay a Self Assessment tax bill in instalments
  • getting a payment from the Small Business Grant Fund
  • getting a loan from the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, or a loan from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme
  • getting Universal Credit
  • applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • applying for Child Benefit

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1 comment

  1. Comment by AH posted on

    SEISS is totally random and arbitrary. Having set up business only 3 years ago, my trading income from this business is well below the annual threshold which has been set. Yet due to contractual payments received in 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 pursuant to an agreement in November 2015, which puts the total annual income over the 3 years to just over the annual threshold, I am classed as being in the top 5% earning in excess of £200k per year and not in need of help now! Even though these payments will not be repeated. Apparently I am with the footballers earning millions! Absolutely irrational and inflexible!


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