Not able to work because of Coronvirus?
What is happening in the world and the UK is unprecedented. It is impacting everyone however those people that are self employed are being hit rather cruelly financially. The following provides some guidance as what to do to limit the financial impact on you and your family if you are self employed.
Please note, The Square does not provide legal advice. The following information is provided as helpful guidance only. Please always get specialist advice from qualified advisors if in doubt.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
If you're self employed you could receive a cash grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profit over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month.
The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
To qualify, more than half of your income in these periods must come from self-employment.
To minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment and meet the above conditions will be eligible to apply. HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly with guidance on how to apply.
Unfortunately the payments won't be made until June 2020 so other options below may be helpful in the mean time. More info Self-Employed Income Support Scheme can be found here.
Employment & Support Allowance
If you're self-employed and can't work because you're ill with coronavirus, you won't be able to get statutory sick pay (SSP). If you pay national insurance you might be eligible to claim contribution-based or 'new style' ESA. You'll get ESA from the first day you're ill.
If you're self employed and unable to find any work due to lack of jobs but you are not sick, Universal Credit may be the best option for you to help financially. Universal Credit is a payment to help you with your living costs and is paid monthly although you can get an upfront payment under certain circumstances.
If keeping up with your bills and food on the table may be a challenge, speak to your bank or lender. Banks have recently agreed with the Chancellor that they will offer 'forbearance' (tolerance and help) on mortgages.
This means they all should offer those struggling a three-month 'holiday', allowing customers a temporary break from having to make mortgage payments during this difficult time.
Deferred income tax self assessment payment
The government are allowing self employed workers to defer their income tax self assessment for the second payment on account for 2019/20 which is due on 31 July 2020. It can now be deferred until 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer and no application is required. The deferral is optional - some taxpayers may prefer to make the July payment to avoid a larger payment in January 2021 but it may help you if you need the cash.
If you're self employed, work in construction, are not sick and looking for work, you should create a professional profile on The Square. When you create your free profile you get instantly matched to relevant jobs near you and can apply directly with the employer. If there's not much near you right now, we'll notify as soon as new jobs come up. You can register to create your free profile here.
If you run a business we've pulled together a few resources and options available to you here. Hope it helps!