There are a number of different types of support available for the self-employed in the UK suffering as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
We summarise the support available for the self-employed under the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. For those eligible, the government will pay a taxable cash grant of up to 80% of their average monthly earnings, based on previous earnings over the last three years, and capped at a maximum of £2,500 a month. Read more.
There is an online government tool that can be used by the self-employed to check whether they will be eligible to make a claim for a grant under the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. You will need to enter your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and National Insurance number. The tool will tell you whether you can make a claim and the date from which a claim can be made.
Claims are made through Government Gateway/Personal Tax Accounts, so if you don’t already have one it would be advisable to set one up now. If you do have one, then you should check that your contact details within the account are up to date.
The online tool can be found at: www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference
Deferral of income tax payments
It is now possible to defer an income tax payment on account from 31 July 2020 to 31 January 2021. Though government guidance initially suggested this was only going to be available for self-employed individuals, all self-assessment taxpayers will be eligible. The deferral will be applied automatically and no interest or penalties will be charged, however should taxpayers wish to make the payment by the normal payment date of 31 July 2020 they can still do so.
Coronavirus support finder
You can use the government’s Coronavirus business support finder tool if you are self-employed, to determine what financial support is available to you during the Coronavirus pandemic.