HMRC encourages self-employed to claim COVID-19 support

HMRC will begin contacting around three and a half million taxpayers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. HMRC will explain the application process for the support scheme and how they will be able to make a claim. 

Those who are eligible will be able to 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.

HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.

How will the Scheme help those who are self employed?

The service opened on 13 May 2020 and will allow those who are self-employed to claim a taxable grant worth up to 80% of their average trading profits for three months. The maximum grant for those who are eligible will be a maximum of £7,500. 

HMRC will use the information that is provided in their 2018/2018 tax return, returns for 2016/17 and returns for 2017/18 if needed, to gadge whether people are eligible for the scheme and how much for. 

Who is eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?

Self-employed taxpayers whose businesses have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis will be eligible for the scheme. 

Taxpayers will also have to:

  • Have traded in 2019/20 and intend to continue trading;
  • Earned at least half of their income through self-employment; 
  • Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 a year; 
  • Have traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year. 

How to make a claim from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?

HMRC are encouraging those who believe they are eligible for the scheme to use their online check to show their eligibility. Once someone is confirmed as eligible they will be given a date when they will be able to submit their appeal. 

Those eligible are also encouraged to ensure that their contact information is up to date so that they can easily be contacted if they are able to receive a grant.

The claims service will open on 13 May 2020 which HMRC have explained is ahead of their original timetable.

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