**The much anticipated support for the self employed has finally been unveiled. More details will follow but a summary of the implications is below.
Below are the announcements made that directly impact the self-employed. Please contact us if you need help to clarify any of these points.
For support with your personal finances that is available to everyone, there is a helpful summary available from StepChange here that is kept up to date.
ANNOUNCEMENT MADE ON 26 MARCH
Support for the self employed from UK government
The UK Government has announced a new income support scheme to provide financial help to self-employed people in the UK.
This scheme will be delivered by taxable grants worth 80% of your average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Anyone already earning the majority of their income from self-employment and making up to £50,000 a year's profit will be eligible.
HMRC will directly contact those who qualify, whereupon they will be asked to fill out an online form. This will be rolled out no later than the beginning of June.
We recognise that aspects of the scheme, and the delay in payments, will cause many rural businesses problems.
If you are in need of more immediate support, then you can apply for Universal Credit.
Remember you can contact GrowBiz for a telephone or online session anytime.
ANNOUNCEMENTS MADE ON 24 MARCH
The Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund
Grant funding administered by PKC and other local authorities in Scotland
Relates to previously promised funding from UK government (see points 3 & 4 below)
Eligibility: Businesses operating in rateable properties of £0 - £51,000
Free assistance with form filling is available from GrowBiz if required, please get in touch with us.
ANNOUNCEMENTS MADE PREVIOUSLY
(in order of usefulness to most self-employed people)
1. Defer Self Assessment tax and other HMRC tax
If you were due to pay an instalment of your income tax in July 2020, you can defer the payment to January 2021.
How to apply - This will happen automatically, no need to apply.
VAT, PAYE and outstanding tax liability payments can also be deferred. More details on HMRC website here.
2. Universal Credit and ESA for the self-employed
If you are facing a significant loss of income, you may need to sign up for benefits to get past the crisis
Self-employed people can now access the equivalent of Sick Pay if self-isolating through the Universal Credit system (£94.25 per week). Apply online here.
You can access ESA if you have been paying National Insurance through your self-assessment over the past 2 years (£73.10 per week). Apply by calling Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688
You can calculate how much you are likely to receive using a benefits calculator before you apply that takes into account your personal circumstances.
Read this useful article on how the benefits system works for the self-employed during this crisis.
3. Small Business Rate Relief
A grant for businesses with a retail space/commercial premises
Grant amount - Up to £10,000 (Initially it was announced as £3,000 but later increased)
How to apply - NO application required as the local authority will contact eligible businesses
Expect to be contacted early April
4. Support for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses
Rates relief: No business rates for the next 12 months (announced for England, waiting for Scottish government equivalent)
How to apply for rates relief - NO application required as local authorities will contact eligible businesses directly
Insured businesses can claim against their policy for pandemics, though most policies exclude them
Uninsured businesses have been promised cash grants for up to £25,000 - no details provided on how it will be accessed
Planning permission is no longer required to convert pubs and restaurants into takeaways during the crisis
5. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) (Announced 23 March)
This is a loan scheme - money received must be paid back
It is accessible through your bank - see list of accredited banks here.
Key Criteria: Your business should be able to borrow money in normal circumstances i.e. if there was no Coronavirus crisis
No interest payable for the first 12 months
Contact your bank directly for help to access this funding, but they are likely to be overwhelmed at the moment
More details available from the British Business Bank website here.
5. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for employers (Announced 20 March)
The government will pay 80% of salaries of your employees that you would have otherwise have laid off due to the crisis.
This applies to anyone who has been paid through PAYE
HMRC will need time to set up the payment system to employers
More details are clearly laid out on the HMRC website here.
6. Reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay if you are an employer
This will allow employers to be refunded where SSP was paid to employees that were absent from work due to Coronavirus.
No need to apply as it will take months for the repayment system to be set up
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES
Please find more resources on our dedicated page on coronavirus by clicking here.