Coronavirus: How your circumstances affect eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

News article

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership find examples of how your circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme

If your tax return is late, amended or under enquiry

If you did not submit your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 on or before 23 April 2020 you will not be able to claim.

When working out your eligibility or amount of a grant, HMRC will not take into account Self Assessment tax returns for the tax years 2016 to 2017 or 2017 to 2018, if they are submitted after 23 April 2020.

When working out your eligibility or amount of a grant we will not take into account any changes made to submitted returns after 6pm on 26 March 2020.

Claims based on late returns submitted between 26 March 2020 and 23 April 2020 are subject to additional anti-fraud checks by HMRC.

HMRC will also only use the information in your original return if your tax return:

  • is under enquiry
  • has been the subject of a contract settlement

If you're a member of a partnership

Each partner in your partnership will need to make a claim based on their own circumstances.

HMRC will work out your eligibility based on your share of the partnership’s trading profits.

If the partnership rules require the grant to be paid into the partnership pot, the partnership should give the full grant back to you. This should be treated as the partnership’s income in the same way as any other income.

Example of how HMRC works out your partnership eligibility.

If having a new child affected the trading profits you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019

If you're self-employed and had a new child, you may be able to make a claim for a grant.

If you're already eligible for the grant based on your 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax returns, your grant amount will not change.

You may be able to make a claim if having a new child either:

  • affected the trading profits or total income you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • meant you did not submit a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019

For this scheme having a new child is any of the following:

  • being pregnant
  • giving birth (including a stillbirth after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy) and the 26 weeks after giving birth
  • caring for a child within 12 months of birth if you have parental responsibility
  • caring for a child within 12 months of adoption placement

You must have been self-employed in the tax year 2017 to 2018 and have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for that year on or before 23 April 2020.

You must also meet all other eligibility criteria.

HMRC will work out your eligibility and average trading profits based on your Self Assessment tax returns for either the:

  • average of the tax years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 if you were self-employed in both these years
  • tax year 2017 to 2018 if you were not self-employed in the tax year 2016 to 2017

You must contact HMRC to verify you had a new child which affected your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme before you make a claim.

If HMRC has confirmed your eligibility you can make a claim on or before 29 January 2021.

If you have loans covered by the loan charge and have not agreed a settlement with HMRC before 20 December 2019

If you have received payment for work or services in the form of a loan or other form of credit covered by the loan charge, you may be able to claim the grant if you were self-employed in the tax year 2017 to 2018 and have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for that year.

This also applies if your loans will be removed from the loan charge because of the changes announced by the government following the loan charge independent review.

HMRC will work out your eligibility and average trading profits based on either:

  • the average of the tax years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018
  • the tax year 2017 to 2018 if you were not self-employed in the tax year 2016 to 2017

You also did not have to file your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return by 23 April 2020. You should have filed by 30 September 2020.

If you claim averaging relief

If you're a self-employed farmer or market gardener, or creative author or artist, HMRC will use the amount of profit before the impact of the averaging claims to work out:

  • if you can claim the grant
  • how much grant you will receive

If you’re a military reservist

If you're self-employed and carried out specified reservist activities (see below), you may be able to make a claim for a grant if all of the following apply:

  • you carried out specified reservist activities for at least 90 days in the period for which your trading profits or total income for the tax year 2018 to 2019 are determined
  • these reservist activities affected your trading profits or total income for that year
  • you were self-employed in the tax year 2017 to 2018 and have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for that year
  • all other eligibility criteria are met

You may also be eligible to make a claim if you started self-employment from 6 April 2018 (see below).

Specified reservist activities are:

  • full-time service commitment
  • additional duties commitment
  • call-out

You will also be able to make a claim even if you did not submit a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019.

HMRC will work out your eligibility and average trading profits based on either the:

  • average of the tax years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018, if you were self-employed in both those years
  • tax year 2017 to 2018 if you were not self-employed in the tax year 2016 to 2017

HMRC will not include any reservist income from the Ministry of Defence when working out your eligibility.

If you started self-employment from 6 April 2018
You may still be eligible to claim the grant if you have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 by 23 April 2020.

HMRC will work out your eligibility based on the information in your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return.

HMRC will not include any reservist income from the Ministry of Defence when working out your eligibility.

If you’re already eligible for the grant based on your 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax returns, your grant amount will not change.

Find out how to make a claim.

If you're non-resident or chose the remittance basis

You may be eligible for the grant if you're self-employed and are either:

You must confirm to HMRC one of the following:

  • your UK trading profits in the tax year 2018 to 2019 are no more than £50,000 and are at least equal to your other worldwide income in that tax year
  • if you traded in the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019, your average UK trading profit in those tax years is no more than £50,000 and the sum of those trading profits is at least equal to the sum of your other worldwide income in those tax years
  • if you traded in the tax years 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 (but not 2016 to 2017), your average UK trading profit in the tax years 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 is no more than £50,000 and the sum of those trading profits is at least equal to the sum of your other worldwide income in those tax years

If you did not trade in the tax year 2017 to 2018, HMRC will base your eligibility on the tax year 2018 to 2019.

If you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis and are subject to the loan charge you must confirm to HMRC either:

  • if you traded in 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 your average UK trading profit for those tax years is no more than £50,000 and the sum of those trading profits is at least equal to the sum of your other worldwide income in those tax years
  • if you did not trade in the tax year 2016 to 2017, your UK trading profits for the tax year 2017 to 2018 are no more than £50,000 and are at least equal to your other worldwide income in that tax year

State aid

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is a state aid granted under the European Commission’s Temporary Framework (section 3.10), designed to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).


First published 16 June 2020