FINANCIAL HELP for self-employed people unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic has been announced by the Chancellor of Exchequer, Rushi Sunak.
The Self-Employed Support Scheme will take an average of monthly profits filed with HMRC over the last three years.
Support will be paid up to £2,500 per month from June onwards.
The help will be available to those who have trading profits up to £50,000 per annum, meaning 95% of self-employed will be eligible. If you have not been trading for three years, an average of one or two years’ profits tax returns will be calculated.
Those who have been self-employed for less than one year and have not submitted a tax return will not be eligible.
Payments will be backdated to 1 March.
Self-Employed Tax Returns
If you have not submitted a Tax Return in January, HMRC will give you four weeks to do so from today (26 March 2020).
HMRC will contact those who are eligible for the scheme and will make payments directly into people’s bank accounts by the end of June.
The Chancellor warned that PAYE and NIC contributions will be equalised between employed and self-employed people in the future.
Closing construction sites
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has welcomed today’s support measures.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said, “Construction workers across the country will now be taking a collective sigh of relief knowing they will now be protected in the same way that employees will be if they lose work due to COVID-19.
“I am delighted that the Chancellor has heeded our calls to be generous with his offer to the self-employed, who make up almost 40% of those working in the construction industry.
“Building companies will now also be able to close sites to protect workers and public health without having to worry about the losses faced by self-employed workers on those sites. We now urge the Treasury and HMRC to ensure that all support packages are up and running as soon as physically possible.”
Financial protection lifeline
Hew Edgar, Head of RICS UK Government Relations & City Strategy, comments, “Our self-employed members, surveyors working up and down the country, were telling us of their concern and worry about the lack of support for their businesses. However, the Chancellor’s announcement today – allowing them to access grants of up to £2,500 based on reported profits – now changes that completely.
“We at RICS are pleased the Chancellor has listened to the property industry and introduced this lifeline of financial protection for self-employed and freelance professionals.
“There are thousands of self-employed professionals in the built environment, who are just as vital to our economy as SME and large business, so this support will ensure then can continue to operate and contribute to the wider economy now and after this virus has been beaten.”