COVID-19: Support for the self-employed
The UK government recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed and announced in November that there would be a fourth grant.
At the 2021 Budget it was confirmed that the fourth SEISS grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500. The fourth grant will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020. The rest of the eligibility criteria remain unchanged.
Your eligibility for the scheme will now be based on your submitted 2019 to 2020 tax return. This may also affect the amount of the fourth grant which could be higher or lower than previous grants you may have received.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September 2021, with a fifth grant from May onwards. The fifth grant will be open from late July. Those whose turnover has fallen by 30% will continue to receive the 80% grant. For those whose turnover has fallen less than 30% will receive a 30% grant. Newly self-employed that have filed a tax return can access the fourth and fifth SEISS grant.
Additional support includes:
- Income Tax payment holidays/support
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Help to Grow Scheme
- Support for the Self Employed
- Claiming Statutory Sick Pay and/or Universal credit if self-employed
- Council tax: COVID-19 Hardship Fund
As one of the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) supporting measures, Self Assessment taxpayers were given the option of deferring payment of their July 2020 Payment on Account until 31 January 2021.
If you deferred this payment, you may have had these three payments to make on 31 January 2021:
- Your deferred July 2020 payment on account (if it remains unpaid)
- Any 2019 to 2020 balancing charge
- Your first 2020 to 2021 payment on account
If you had difficulty in making all three payments at once you may have chosen to set up a Time to Pay instalment arrangement with HMRC.
HMRC has set up a dedicated phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to COVID-19.
For help and advice:
- Call 0800 024 1222 - Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.
For more information on help with your taxes read HMRC tax information on GOV.UK
The Government has launched a new Help to Grow programme, designed to help small and medium sized businesses to learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. To be eligible, businesses need to have been operating for more than one year and have between five to 249 employees.
If you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.
For the duration of the outbreak, the Government has suspended the universal credit minimum income floor for those with COVID-19 or who are self-isolating, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support.
If you are self-employed and receiving Universal Credit and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change took effect on 13 March and will last for the duration of the outbreak, to ensure that self-employed UC claimants will receive support.
Richmond Council has confirmed it will be relaxing its normal rules on rent arrears and non-payment of council tax. No enforcement or recovery action will be initiated against people who fall behind with their council tax payments.
As part of its response to COVID-19, the government announced in the Budget on 11 March that it would provide local authorities in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. With some people facing reduced incomes or job losses as a result of the outbreak. Further information on this will follow.
- Federation of Small Businesses
- The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Self-employment and Universal Credit
- Guidance for people who are self-employed (GOV.UK)
Updated: 21 June 2021