Update – 4th May 2020


Update 4 May 2020

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

UPDATE – Eligibility Tool Released

What has changed?

Applications for this will be staged.

HMRC have released an online tool to enable you to check your eligibility and find out when you will be able to apply. This can be found here


What info will I need to hand to find out if I am eligible?

UTR (Unique Tax Reference Number)

NI Number

Contact Details

What next?

Once you have input these details HMRC will give you a time and date when you can apply for this grant. You will also need to provide them with your contact details at this point.

Where can I find my UTR?

It is shown at the top of your last submitted tax return. If you don’t have it there is a link on this page to get a lost UTR number.


What info will I need to apply when my application slot comes up?


-NI Number

-Government Gateway ID and Password

-Bank Details

Do I need to calculate what I am due?

No, HMRC will calculate how much you are due to get.

How long until I get the money?

Once you’ve submitted your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved. HMRC will pay the grant into your bank account within 6 working days.

Do I need a login?

Yes, we said on a previous update you should apply for a government gateway ID. If you have not done this yet then you need to set one up ASAP.

https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account to register.

How will they determine if I have been adversely affected by Covid 19?

They list a few examples

-Unable to work due to caring responsibilities, self -isolating or shielding

-You have had to scale down or stop trading due to fewer customers or staff can’t come to work

FRAUD Please be very diligent at this time

If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. You should email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.


RECAP on what we already knew

What is available?

A grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their trading profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This is based on your average profits for the three years ended 2018-19. The scheme is open to anyone who has

Suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19,

Whose average profits are less than £50,000 per year and

Earns the majority of their income from self-employment.

This scheme is open for three months initially and will be extended if required.


They think first payments will be early June. This will be paid in one instalment and cover the period of the three months to May.

What if I haven’t heard from them by mid-May?

Use the eligibility tool to find out when you can apply.

I don’t have access to claim online what do I do?

If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available- awaiting updates.

Will the income be backdated to 1 March mirroring the Job Retention Scheme?

It will be available for three months but may be extended.


What if I only just started self-employment?

If you don’t have a tax return for 2018-19 then you will not be eligible for this scheme.

Check to see if you are eligible for universal credit – whilst the applications may take 5 weeks, they are currently making advance payments which can be available in days. The rules have changed on Universal Credit so please check the government website.

What if my profits exceeded £50,00 in one of the last three years?

The scheme looks at an average over the three years so as long as the average falls below £50,000 you will qualify.

I am getting no income now what am I supposed to do between now and June?

Check to see if you are eligible for universal credit – whilst the applications may take 5 weeks, they are currently making advance payments which can be available in days.

If you are not eligible for this, you may want to speak to your bank about a temporary overdraft to see you through until the June payments are made. Banks are being flexible in terms of reduced fees at present, so this is a good place to start. However, review what you expect your income to be from this scheme before you commit to any further debt.

Can I still earn money and apply for this?


I traded for the last three years but have recently ceased and am looking for employment – do I qualify?

No, you not only have to have traded in 2018-19 but must be currently trading and planning to trade in 2020-2021.

Government Link  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme


For copies of our previous updates please e-mail either



Previous updates

18 March, 19 March, 21 March,

24 March, 26 March, 27 March,

6 April,9 April, 10 April,24 April, 28 April,

This article is written for the general interest of our clients and is not a substitute for consulting the relevant legislation or taking professional advice. The authors and the firm cannot accept any responsibility for loss arising from any person acting or refraining from acting on the basis of the material included herein.

Andy Fleet

Author Andy Fleet

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