Will you qualify for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme?

Accountant Vanessa Sanders says the full details of the Chancellor’s announcement for financial help for the self-employed have yet to be released, but this is the latest as at 27 March:

  • Open to self-employed individuals whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • This includes partners in a partnership.
  • The individual must have filed a 2019 tax return. If you have failed to, then there is a four-week opportunity to do so now – deadline 23 April 2020.
  • The individual must have trading income in 2020; be trading at the point of the application and intend to continue trading in 2021.
  • Trading profits must be below £50,000 in order to qualify.
  • More than 50% of the individual’s income must derive from self-employment.
  • The scheme will pay a grant – not a loan – worth up to 80% of averaged monthly profits over the last three tax years, or £2,500 per month if lower, running for three months.
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is currently building systems which may take until June to come online. HMRC will contact qualifying individuals when the systems and processes are up and running so no further action is necessary at present.
  • The grant will be paid in a one-off payment direct to the bank account.

These packages are unlikely to help many hospital doctors, whose private earnings exceed £50,000 and whose NHS earnings are generally a substantial part of their income.

The delays in providing assistance have been considered and there is a potential to benefit from the Universal Credit and business continuity loans if these are necessary.

Vanessa Sanders is a partner with accountancy, finance and tax advisory medical specialists, Stanbridge Associates Ltd