Scheme for self-employment coronavirus grant of up to £7,500 to launch in mid-May before payment in June

A CORONAVIRUS grant scheme for self-employed workers will open in mid-May ahead of the first payments being made in June.

The government will give grants worth 80 per cent of the profits, up to £2,500 a month, under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to those who can't work due to the pandemic to offset any loss of income.

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It's a similar support system to the furlough scheme for those who are on the PAYE payroll, which opened this week.

But the unlike furlough, self-employed workers don't need to apply to it – HMRC will contact those who are eligible for the payout by mid-May.

It has not yet revealed how they will get in touch, for example by phone, email or letter, but it's likely that you'll be able to claim the money online after you've been contacted.

The first payments will then be made in June, although details of exactly when this will be are yet to be announced.

Self-employment grant: who can claim?

<strong>You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:</strong>

  • have submitted your self assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19
  • traded in the tax year 2019/20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the current tax year (2020/21)
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus.

HMRC still hasn't decided whether the scheme will be extended for an extra month like the furlough scheme, which initially was only going to cover workers' salaries between March and June.

SEISS will also be able to be backdated to the cover March, April and May meaning you could claim up to £7,500 which is likely to be paid in a lump sum.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak previously said that the scheme can be extended if necessary.

But the scheme is only open to those self-employed workers who have filed their 2018/19 tax return.

Usually the deadline for this is January 31 but the government agreed to extend it until midnight tonight (Thursday, April 23) to help more people access the grant.


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Because the grant is calculated from the previous tax year, you must have been self-employed before April 6 2019 to qualify.

You can still claim even if you were self-employed for a few months in that tax year, although your grant will be calculated based on the profit you earned during this time.

As well as filing your tax return for the 2018/19 financial year, you must also earn more than half of your total income from self-employment, and your average profit must be less than £50,000 a year.

You will be eligible for the grant even if you earned more than £50,000 in 2018/19 but less than £50,000 on average over the last three years.

Unlike the furlough scheme, you can continue to work even if you qualify for the grant.

You'll still need to pay tax on the cash but you won't need to pay it back as it's a grant and not a loan.

Last week it was revealed that more than 700,000 self-employed people will miss out on government help due to their limited company status.

If you don't qualify for the grants, you may be able to get help through Universal Credit.

The Sun has contacted HMRC for comment.

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