SELF-EMPLOYED workers now have even more help as part of the governments' measures to help people during the coronavirus crisis.
Workers are being offered help through the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), which gives grants to help those who work for themselves if their income has been negatively impacted.
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Applications for the first grant closed on July 13, 2020.
The second grant, worth up to £6,570, opened for applications on August 17 and closed on October 19, 2020.
In September, Chancellor Rishi Sunak then extended the self-employed scheme to help workers during the winter.
And earlier this week, he increased the third self-employed grant to £7,500, covering 80% of trading profits for November to January.
Here's what you need to know about applying for the SEISS scheme.
What is the third grant and how much will I get?
Under the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS), the government will cover 80% of your trading profits over three months.
Previously, self-employed workers were only set to receive government grants worth 40% of average monthly profits from November through to January 2021.
The latest grant was set to be worth £3,750 but was increased to £5,160 over the weekend.
It meant self-employed workers would have received 55% of trading profits for the next three months – including 80% of trading profits in November.
But yesterday, Mr Sunak increased it to 80% of trading profits for November to January – up to a maximum of £7,500.
The government has also announced there'll be a fourth grant covering February to April 2021, but it's yet to confirm the details including how much it'll be.
You don't have to repay the grants if you’re eligible, but it will be subject to income tax and self-employed national insurance.
Self-employed workers who are struggling can receive the payout as well as claim Universal Credit, but it will be classed as income and may affect how much you receive in benefits.
What other help is there for self-employed workers?
THE government has also introduced the following measures to help self-employed workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak:
Income-tax deferrals: Self-assessment income tax payments, that were due in July, can be deferred to the end of January next year.
Rent support: Businesses who were struggling to pay their rents were protected from eviction until the end of June.
Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme: SMEs can get loans and overdrafts of up to £5million for up to six years and the government will guarantee up to 80 per of these.
Grants of up to £10,000: Small firms can get grants of up to £10,000 to help with ongoing business costs.
VAT payments: VAT payments can be deferred for three months.
Tax bill help: SMEs that cannot afford their tax bills can ask HMRC for a “time to pay” arrangement so any debt collection is suspended.
Business rates holiday: A 12-month business rates holiday has been introduced for many businesses.
When can I claim the third grant?
As part of the changes to the support, applications for the self-employed grant have been brought forward from December 14 to November 30.
In other words, you won't be able to claim yet.
HMRC said it'll provide full details about claiming and applications on the Gov.uk website in due course.
Am I eligible to claim for a grant?
In order to claim the third payout, self-employed workers must have been eligible for the first and second grant, even if you didn't claim them.
You must also declare that you intend to continue to trade and that you're either currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to the coronavirus.
Alternatively, you must declare that you were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to the pandemic.
To be eligible, you also must have filed a tax return for 2018/19, meaning you must have been self-employed before April 6, 2019.
The grants are calculated based on an average of your profits over three tax years – 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
If you didn't trade in 2016/17, then it will be based on your average profits in 2017/18 and 2018/19, or in 2018/19 if that's the only year you traded.
You must also earn more than half of your total income from self-employment and your trading profit must be less than £50,000 a year to qualify.
Sadly, self-employed workers who are company directors or run their businesses as limited companies can't apply.
But if you claim maternity allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.
How do I claim?
You can make your claim via the Gov.uk website once they open for applications.
Self-employed workers will need the following info to claim:
- Self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR) – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
- National insurance number – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost national insurance number
- Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
- UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)
New rules mean self-employed workers excluded from coronavirus grantsmay now be eligible.
We meet the entrepreneurs who’ve set up their own businesses after coronavirus left them jobless.
Plus, we round up six schemes that have been extended to help struggling Brits during the second lockdown in England.
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