COVID 19 – ASSISTANCE FOR SELF EMPLOYED

On Thursday 26 March the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government intend to provide assistance for the self-employed during the Covid 19 pandemic. Assistance A self-employed individual or partner whose profits in the tax year 2018/19 were less than £50,000, or whose average profits for the last 3 tax years are less than £50,000 will be entitled to claim a grant. The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will be administered by HMRC and will be available to individuals who obtain more than half of their income from their self-employment. The grant is for up to 80% of average monthly profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The scheme will run from 1 March initially for 3 months but may be extended. HMRC will contact eligible individuals and allow them to complete an online claim form. Payment will be made in one lump sum in early June directly into your bank account. If your business is new and you have less than three years of accounts, HMRC will strive to assist you by reviewing your available accounts. However, those with less than 12 months trading accounts will be unable to apply as this relief is based on accounts submitted to HMRC. To encourage those new businesses who may not have filed their 2018/19 Tax Return, which was due for submission on 31 January, the deadline has been extended by 4 weeks – to 24 April. If you are self-employed and run your business through a limited company, thus taking a salary and dividends then you should claim assistance under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and not this scheme. Further assistance Where your average profits exceed £50,000 p.a. you will have to consider the other relief available such as: o The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. o Business rates relief has been extended to 12 months for all eligible retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England. o Personal Self Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 have been deferred until 31 January 2021. o Missed tax payments may be deferred under HMRC’s Time To Pay Service. o VAT payments have been deferred for a period of 3 months, covering VAT return and payment deadlines of 7 April, 7 May and 7 June. Furloughed Employees The scheme provides a grant of up to 80% of monthly wage costs of up to £2,500 to include Employers National Insurance contributions and Pension contributions on auto enrolment schemes, backdated to 1 March. The scheme will be available at the end of April. Contacts If you would like to discuss anything further or any issue affecting your business the please do not hesitate to contact Anne Healy-McAdam Head of Tax (ahm@act.london) or Byron McGarr Associate Director of BPO ( bmg@act.london) or your usual ACT contact.

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