This evening 26/03/20 the Chancellor has announced another significant set of measures, this time to help the Self Employed.  The scale of the measures announced should not be underestimated, neither should the complication of providing financial support to help the self employed.

We have just held an emergency meeting of Partners at Smarter.  The measures announced to date have been complicated and lacked detailed guidance, this set of measures to help the self employed is a whole new level of complicated. We suspect that Government and HM Revenue & Customs will be still working through the detail in the days and weeks to come.  We will provide further detail as the guidance is released, but at this point we need to give out the headlines:

  • The Self Employed will receive support, at the same level as employed staff – 80% of up to £2,500
  • This will be paid via a taxable income support grant
  • HM Revenue & Customs will calculate the monthly sum based upon the tax returns submitted for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19
  • HM Revenue & Customs will contact the self employed
  • Those with taxable profits exceeding £50,000 will not receive the grant
  • In addition, the majority of income should come from self employment
  • Grants will be paid no later than the beginning of June
  • Company owners who pay via dividends are not covered by this scheme

Those are the facts of the announcement. There are also some significant other issues that we found out in his presentation:

  • Those who are yet to submit their tax return for the period ended 5 April 2019, have 4 weeks from today’s date to submit the return and still qualify for the grant. Anyone who has not yet submitted their 5 April 2019 tax return should take immediate steps to get this done
  • If you have started self employment after the 5 April 2019, the grant will not be available to you and our suggestion is to make a Universal Credit application (see link later)

There are many questions that we do not know the answers to!  Those running Limited Companies will be shocked and disappointed by this announcement.

Over the past week we have had a number of questions in relation to the employee retention scheme. The Chancellor announced that detailed guidance on this would be issued tonight.  We will provide further guidance on this once we have received and had time to digest.

Finally, we now believe where you are unsure of your position in relation to financial help available and assuming that your income, from whatever source, has ceased or reduced substantially then you should make immediate steps to apply for Universal Credit. This should then take you to other benefits, such as housing benefits, if relevant. Please follow this link: Universal Credit

We are sorry that we can not give more definitive help and guidance at this point.  Rest assured we will be working to ensure that we can provide the best advice and guidance as soon as it become available.  It is our utmost priority.
If you want to discuss any issues, or have queries, please do hesitate to call or email us.

Best wishes and stay safe.