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Self-employed and getting no work?

If you are self-employed and qualify for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme you could receive a cash grant from HMRC based on 80% of your profits, up to £2,500 per month. The initial grant is for the three months, from 1 March through to the end of May 2020, but this measure could be extended. You can only make a claim if your business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus. For most claims, the grant will be based on average trading profit over the tax years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19.

The online claims service was launched on 13 May 2020, although you may have been given a later date to make your claim between 13 and 18 May. If you are eligible you will be able to claim up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits for March, April and May), paid in a single instalment. You need to make a claim using your own Government Gateway account. The claims are expected to be paid within six working days of submission.

You can also make a claim for Universal Credit if you are eligible. The cash grant may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get but will not affect claims for earlier periods.

The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:

  • deferral of Self-Assessment Income Tax and VAT payments
  • grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Bounce Back Loan.

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