PLEASE NOTE: The charity TaxAid advises only those people on low incomes whose problems cannot be resolved with HMRC.

Coronavirus: support for the self employed

Coronavirus: support for the self employed

Are you self-employed?

The tax charities TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People are continuing to work hard to support individuals with their tax difficulties during this pandemic.

In addition to our ongoing work, we are now offering targeted support for those who are self-employed and are being affected by the impact of Covid-19.

The Government is offering financial help through its Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Part of the eligibility for this funding was that 2018/19 tax returns had to be submitted to HMRC by the 23rd April 2020. If you did not meet this deadline, you are unlikely to be eligible for the financial help and will need to seek other support. Citizens Advice has information on this: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/coronavirus-if-youre-self-employed/

I am eligible for the financial support – what happens next?

The Government is contacting all those who are eligible for the financial support just now and the grant application started to open from 13 May. Once you have claimed, the grant takes 6 working days to be paid into your bank account.

The grant application itself is relatively straightforward, but you will need to make sure you have your Government Gateway ID and password set up ready if you are claiming online. We have more information on what you can do to to prepare for the grant claim, including setting up the Government Gateway ID HERE.

If, for any reason you cannot claim for your grant online, you can instead call the HMRC helpline on 0800 024 1222 and select option 2. The line is open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm. Please note this line is likely to get very busy, so it is best to try and call early if you can.

If you want to know how much grant you may be able to access from the Government, Deloitte has created a ‘Self-employment Income Support Scheme Calculator’ : https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/tax/articles/self-employment-income-support-scheme-calculator.html

If you have any questions

You can call our dedicated helpline 0345 120 3779 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm In addition to our helpline, we have short, easy to follow YouTube videos which answer some of the common questions we are already getting. Our YouTube channel can be found HERE.

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is also keeping up to date with changes as they occur and has a range of useful information depending on your circumstances on their website: https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/coronavirus-guidance