Update: Monday 4 May
If you complete a Self-Assessment tax return and over 50% of your total income is made up of trading profits from a sole trader or partnership business, and your business is suffering due to the Coronavirus, the Government announced that you might be able to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.
The claim process goes live in a few weeks time and payments will be made six working days from the claim being approved. GOV.UK have updated their website with a handy tool which you can use to check if you are eligible to make a claim, and what date and time you can apply from.
You can find the online tool using the link below:
To use this tool you will need your National Insurance (NI) number and your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number, the latter of which is a 10 digit number which can be found on any correspondence received from HMRC or on the front of your personal tax return.
Once you have entered this information into the online tool you should get a response within seconds telling you whether you can or can’t make a claim.
Please note that we cannot do the claim for you as your agent, you will need to complete the below steps in order to check your eligibility and proceed with the claim process.
GOV.UK would prefer that you make your claim through your Government Gateway account, and if you have an account they then invite you to log on to confirm your details so that they can send you an email reminding you to make your claim.
If you do not have a Government Gateway account, they will give you the option to set one up, which you can do it by clicking on the option on the screen. You will then be required to add Self-Assessment to this account using your UTR number and address. Please note, you will require an activation code once enrolled for Self-Assessment which can take 7 days to arrive, so please set up the account in plenty of time before your claim date.
For those of you who are unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available and we will advise you of this in due course.
If you would like to check whether you are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and do not have a note of your NI or UTR numbers, please do not hesitate to give us a ring.
Additional Support - Scottish businesses
The Scottish Government announced the second phase of funding support measures, aimed at supporting those businesses which were not able to fully access the measures announced already.
On top of the financial measures that were announced on 18 March, £100m of further grants are being made available for Scottish businesses affected by the Coronavirus.
This package aims to support the newly self-employed and other micro businesses who have not been able to access support through the previously announced measures.
This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies and is expected to be available by the end of April.
We will continue to keep you informed as things progress.