Help! I’m self employed. What support is available for me?

Guidance and updates for self-employed, contractors and freelances looking for support during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Becky Rock-Evans

25th March 2020

What is the Government doing to support the self-employed?

Hurrah! On Thursday, the Government announced a package of support for the self-employed. Of course, it's not completely straight forward. The Government themselves admitted that finding a solution  was complicated and proved problematic.  

Initial support included deferring VAT, interest-free loans, and changes to the tax credit and Universal Credit systems. Now, a package similar to the employee furlough bailout, will be introduced rom June.

Here's a summary of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

  • Those eligible will receive a taxable cash grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
  • HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant.
  • The scheme is open to those with a trading profit less that £50,000.
  • More than half of your income must come from self-employment.
  • Payments will cover three months to include March, April, May and will be paid in one lump sum from the beginning of June.
  • You do not need to do anything now. If you are eligible, HMRC will get in touch with you directly.
  • If you pay yourself a salary and dividends through your own company this scheme does not apply. Instead, take a look at our Business Support blog

What to do in the meantime?

June probably feels like a long time away, particularly if you have lost contracts or have had to reduce hours due to the outbreak. 

The Government has advised that you can still access other support such as Universal Credit and, if you have a business bank account, business continuity loans are available.

If you are concerned or have questions or are worried about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19 call HMRCs dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Support and resources from Invest in Bath.

The Invest in Bath website is a good place to keep a look out for any further announcements for self employed grants and schemes.

If you are able to set up an online delivery service for your customers or to help your local community, use the tech to do so! Invest in Bath can promote your services and business. Email them with your business name, a short paragraph about what you are offering and links to your social channels. 

Take advantage of free online courses from Google around ecommerce and digital presence.

FutureBright is offering free career coaching, training and support to help you develop your skills and increase your pay. Their coaches are helping the self-employed to look for alternative jobs, when needed, during this time. You can also email them or call 01225 395555.

Keep in touch.

We'll continue to update this blog as and when we hear more so keep checking back for further details.

(Photo credit: from Pexels)

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