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Covid-19: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Accountants can't claim for you

Updated: 4 days ago

Today on 4th May HMRC has announced that the Self-employed cannot ask their Accountants to make the claim on their behalf.

To make the claim if you are Self-employed, you will need to have an active government gateway account. If you do not have a government gateway account yet, you would need to apply for one as soon as possible.

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

The grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

There is other support available if you’re not eligible for the grant.

HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. A recap to help you understand how we will do this and what you can do now:

Who can claim

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and:

  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020

  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021

  • Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus, for example if:

  • you’re unable to work because you:

  • are shielding

  • are self-isolating

  • are on sick leave because of coronavirus

  • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus

  • you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:

  • your supply chain has been interrupted

  • you have fewer or no customers or clients

  • your staff are unable to come in to work

You should not claim the grant if you’re above the state aid limits or operating a trade through a trust.

To work out your eligibility we will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.

If you’re not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, we will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.

Find out how we will work out your eligibility including if we have to use other years.

Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

Your tax agent or adviser cannot make the claim for you. You must make the claim yourself. If you use an agent you should contact them if you need any help or support.

Check if your circumstances affect your eligibility by clicking here.

You can also use HMRC online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim.

You’ll need your:

Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number

National Insurance number

If you’re eligible

HMRC would tell the date you’ll be able to make a claim from and ask you to add your contact details. They will use these to remind you when the online service will be available.

If you’re not eligible

If HMRC has told you that you’re not eligible to make a claim, you can ask tham to review this after you’ve used the online tool. If you want to do this at a later time, you’ll be able to use the online tool more than once.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017

  • 2017 to 2018

  • 2018 to 2019

HMRC would work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then we will divide by 3.

The grant will be 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. The online service will tell you how they have worked the grant out.

The grant amount they work out for you will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How to claim

The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC will aim to contact you by mid-May 2020 if you’re eligible, to invite you to claim using the GOV.UK online service. Payment will be made by early June 2020 if your claim is approved.

If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available. We will update this page with more information soon.

You do not need to contact HMRC now, as this will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. You should email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.

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