News article

Coronavirus: Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

30 July 2020


If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant.

The scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months' worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

As with the first grant, HMRC will contact you if you're eligible.

HMRC will work out your eligibility for the second grant in the same way as the first grant.

You can make a claim for the second grant if you're eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

How the grant works

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as a military reservist.

The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

HMRC will work out if you're eligible and how much grant you may get. But you can follow these steps to help you understand how HMRC will do this and what you can do now:

1) Find out who can claim
2) Find out how HMRC works out your grant
3) Make your claim when the online service is available
4) Find out what happens after you’ve claimed

Who can claim

You can claim if you're a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:

  • you're unable to work because you:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • you've had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come into work
    • one or more of your contracts have been cancelled
    • you had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules

Find examples of when you would be 'adversely affected'.

You must keep evidence to confirm your business was adversely affected at the time you made your claim.

All of the following must also apply:

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus

You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

To work out your eligibility HMRC will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.

If you're not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, HMRC will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.

Find out how HMRC will work out your eligibility including if HMRC has to use other years.

Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as 'access to public funds', and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

You must make the claim yourself. Your tax agent or adviser must not claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, and you will have to contact HMRC. This will cause a significant delay to you receiving your payment.

How different circumstances affect the scheme
Check if your circumstances affect your eligibility for the following:

  • if your return is late, amended or under enquiry
  • if you’re a member of a partnership
  • if you had a new child
  • if you have loans covered by the loan charge
  • if you claim averaging relief
  • if you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis
  • if you’re a military reservist
  • state aid
  • adversely affected examples

If you're eligible

If you want to claim the second and final grant you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.

To claim, you'll need your:

  • Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    • bank account number
    • sort code
    • name on the account
    • your address linked to your bank account

You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020.

If you’re not eligible

HMRC use the information you or your tax agent or adviser sent them on your Self Assessment tax returns to work out your eligibility.

If you think the information is incorrect, contact HMRC.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

HMRC will work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then HMRC will divide by 3.

The second and final grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. The online service will tell you how we’ve worked your grant out.

The grant amount HMRC work out for you will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

Find out how HMRC will work out your average trading profits including if you have not traded for all 3 years.

How to claim

The online service is not available yet. If you’re eligible, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

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.

Other help you can get

Get other financial support
You may be able to claim for Universal Credit, but even if the claim is not approved it will affect your tax credits if you claim them, and may affect other benefits. So you should:

If you make a claim for Universal Credit the grant may affect the amount you get, but will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.

The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:

If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Get help online
You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Use HMRC's digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

Contacting HMRC
HMRC are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts their essential public services at risk during these challenging times. But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online


First published 4 May 2020