The Self-employment Income Support Scheme has been devised to bring vital Government support to self-employed individuals, which means that you have operated as a sole trader or in a partnership during the period of eligibility for the scheme.
If your business employed you, or you’re a limited company director, you may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We have prepared a separate guide to assist you.
HMRC started contacting people it believes are eligible to use the Self-Employment Income Support scheme from the 4th May 2020. The scheme provides a taxable grant worth 80% of the self-employed individuals’ trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500.
The online service is due to be operational on Wednesday 13th May 2020, with payments reaching bank accounts by 25th May, or six working days following the date of the claim.
An online checker is now available which will let taxpayers check their eligibility for themselves, as well as giving them a date on which they can apply. You will need your unique taxpayer reference (UTR) and National Insurance number and should ensure these details are up to date in your government gateway account.
Please note, tax agents or advisors such as Crunch cannot claim on your behalf. We are preparing a guide to help you understand whether you may be eligible for a payment from the scheme and to help you through the application process based on guidance published by HMRC.
You may be able to claim the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant if you: a self-employed individual and:
- a self-employed individual
- you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
- you traded in the 2018/19 tax year and submitted your Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23rd April 2020 for that year
- you traded in the 2019/20 tax year
- you intend to continue to trade in the 2020/21 tax year.
If you’re not eligible for support under the SEISS, there may still be other support available to you – you can use the government’s Business Support Finder to check.
ABS Accountancy understands that HMRC has considered the issue of agent access, however with the need to make payments as soon as possible resulted in HMRC taking the decision that claims would have to be made by the taxpayer only. Unlike the job retention scheme, HMRC will be making the calculations for the claims rather than the taxpayer or their agent, with the result that claiming under the scheme should be much simpler.
ABS Accountancy recommends individuals set up a new government gateway ID in advance of making an application but instead doing so as the first step in the application process. These will ensure that the correct type of credentials are set up and avoids the need to wait for an authorisation code in the post.
HMRC will also be providing a telephone-based application service for the digitally excluded; further details; further details will be made available at a later date.