New measures have been announced for self-employed workers during the coronavirus pandemic, providing the same level of support as furloughed employees on a PAYE scheme.
During the government’s briefing on March 26, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that self-employed workers are eligible for a grant of 80% of their monthly profits, taken from an average from the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
The scheme is open to those who need it for three months initially, and will be extended for longer if necessary.
Self-employed people may also be able to work during this period, and is open to people who have operating profits of up to £50,000; with the majority of their income being from self-employed work.
To be eligible for the grant, people must have filed a tax return for 2019; anyone who missed the filing deadline in January has four weeks from today to fill in their tax return.
HMRC will contact people directly, who will be asked to fill out a form to receive monies directly to their accounts and it is hoped the money will be available to those claiming it no later than the beginning of June (though backdated to March).
However, the grants will not provide support for those who are recently self-employed.
Sunak also confirmed that the self-employed can also access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, their income tax will be deferred until the end of January next year and can apply for Universal Credit in full.
This cover should support 95% of workers who are self-employed.
More information can be found on the government website.