Last update: 11th May 2020
We’ve pulled together some of the FAQ’s on what we know so far. It is a rapidly developing situation and we’ll update things as we know them. These notes represent our understanding of things now and it’s not necessarily what the final situation may be,
The latest Government details are listed here.
How can I apply?+
Check if you are eligible using HMRC Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Using the eligibility checker
If you don’t currently have a government gateway login set up, don’t worry just follow the link from the eligibility checker to get one set up.
Watch here HMRC’S video animation on what to do.
How much will I get?+
You will receive 80% of your average monthly profit, based over the last 3 tax years (up to 2018/19), up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
How do I work that out?+
Add together your last 3 years’ profits and divide them by 36 (assuming they are full years). The profit figure to use is likely to be before any capital allowance deductions, although this is yet to be confirmed.
I haven’t been trading for 3 years, am I still eligible?+
It will be average across the years you have been trading for. If you have only started trading during this tax year, it appears that the only option is for you to look at Universal Credit.
When will I get paid?+
Utilise as many cashflow enhancing measures as you can, such as;
– Job retention scheme if you have employees
– Business interruption loan
– Chase your debtors for amounts owed to you
– Negotiate with creditors for increased payment terms
– Review expenditure and cut out any non-essentials
– Enquire about payment holidays from any existing finance agreements you have
– Defer any HMRC liabilities, contact HMRC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline here
I haven’t yet filed my 2018/19 tax return, will I still be eligible?+
You have until 23 April to file it to be eligible.
How long will I be paid for?+
This is effective for the period 1st March to 31st May 2020, although this could be extended if circumstances don’t improve.
I earn over £50k profit, will I still be eligible?+
If your profits exceed £50k, it appears as though you won’t qualify.
I have numerous sources of income, can I include them?+
It looks as though it only covers income from self-employment.
Also, over 50% of your income must be from self-employment in order to qualify.
I’m a director & shareholder of my own company that receives a low salary and dividends, am I eligible?+
Dividends aren’t included. If the company operates a payroll scheme, then you may be able to “furlough” yourself and make a claim via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
How do I “furlough myself”?+
Check if you could be covered here
If I have already stopped trading, am I eligible?+
You need to currently be trading and intending to continue trading after all of this ‘blows over’. If you have only stopped trading due to the Coronavirus then you’ll still be eligible.
Is it possible to amend my 2018/2019 tax return to increase my income?+
Yes… but that is likely to be fraud so don’t ask us to do it.
Will I still be able to work?+
Under furlough rules, you wouldn’t be allowed to undertake any work, and so it would be assumed that similar rules would apply for the self-employed. However, the latest updates don’t specifically state this.
It says that the payments received are ‘taxable’, does this mean I have to pay tax on them?+
Yes, they’ll form part of your tax return along with any other sources of income during the tax year.
I’ve not lost any money due to the Coronavirus and business is booming, will I still be eligible?+
The latest release says you’re only eligible if you” have lost trading/partnership profits due to COVID-19”.