Coronavirus – Business Support Update – 05/05

Further guidance has now been published regarding the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which we have summarised below.

  • HMRC will this week start contacting individuals who may be eligible for the scheme.  If you are not contacted, it will not necessarily mean that you are ineligible for the support and may simply be because HMRC does not hold contact details for you.
  • The online service to make a claim will be available from 13 May 2020.
  • Currently, all claims must be made online and tax agents cannot make a claim on taxpayers behalf.  For those without internet, HMRC has advised that an alternative way to claim will be made available in due course.
  • As part of the claim process HMRC will use previously-submitted tax returns to generate the claim figure for the taxpayer to accept.  Once the claim is submitted, the taxpayer will be told straight away if the claim Is approved and the grant should be paid into their nominated bank account within 6 working days.   
  • HMRC has made a tool available to confirm eligibility and the date from which a claim may be made.  To use this tool taxpayers will need their Unique Taxpayer Reference and National Insurance number, both of which can be obtained from the cover page of their latest personal tax return.  If your main source of income is from self-employment trading, we strongly recommend that you confirm your eligibility via this tool as soon as possible.
  • As previously noted, one of the conditions to make a claim is that “you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by Coronavirus”.  The published guidance now includes the following examples of what HMRC considers this to mean:
  1. being unable to work due to: self-isolation; shielding; sick leave; or having caring responsibilities; and/or
  2. you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because: your supply chained has been interrupted; you have fewer or no customers; or your staff are unable to come into work.    

As noted above, the current guidance states that tax agents cannot make a claim on your behalf.  Therefore, in order to make the claim online you will need to register for a Government Gateway account, which can be done when you check your eligibility online.  Once you have your account set up, you’ll need the following information when making your claim:

  1. Your Unique Taxpayer Reference number;
  2. Your National Insurance number;
  3. Government Gateway user ID and password; and
  4. Bank account number and sort code that you want the grant paid into.

If you have any questions regarding the self-employed grant or any of those previously announced, please feel free to contact us.