Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Self-employment income support scheme (SEISS)

Self-employed people play a critically important role in Scotland’s economy and they must not be left behind in the response to this crisis.

On 26 March, the Chancellor announced an income support scheme for the self-employed which is on par with the coronavirus job retention scheme for 95% of the people who are majority self-employed.  

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is available to self-employed individuals or a member of a partnership who have submitted an Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 and are still trading, or would be trading if it weren’t for COVID-19. Self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of income should come from self-employment. Applicants will  get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months. It will be paid directly into an individual’s bank account, in one instalment, expected to be by June.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of a partnership;
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment? This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
    • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
    • Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

How do I access it?

HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account. HMRC is working hard to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by the beginning of June 2020. For eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have 4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.

When can I access it?

HMRC is working hard to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid by the beginning of June 2020. This time is necessary to ensure that the scheme is both deliverable and fair. In the interim, the self-employed will still be eligible for other government support including more generous Universal Credit and business continuity loans.

Further information and updates about this scheme can be found here