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COVID-19 SUPPORT AND ADVICE FOR SELF EMPLOYED

Support for Self-Employed Individuals

The UK Government has announced a package of support for the Self Employed impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, bringing support to the same level as that for employees. The new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, means those eligible will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

Individuals will apply directly to HMRC for the taxable grant, using a simple online form, with the cash being paid directly into people’s bank account. The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment. To minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment and meet the above conditions will be eligible to apply.

HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly with guidance on how to apply. The income support scheme, which is being designed by HMRC from scratch, will cover the three months to May. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all 3 months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June. Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends

Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the above scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.

Before grant payments are made, the self-employed will still be able to access other available government support for those affected by coronavirus including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans where they have a business bank account.

For further information on the Self Employment Support Scheme follow this link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

Business Interruption Loan

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities and can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. The CBILS website is the best source of up to date information.

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

HMRC Support

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). For further information please visit the GOV.UK website.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT payments

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

  • defer the payment until a later date
  • pay the VAT due as normal

Find out how to defer your VAT payment. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 more help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme.

Support for businesses through deferring Income Tax payments

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment.

The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your second payment on account on 31 July you should do so.

How to access the scheme: This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until January 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

If you have finance from the Development Bank of Wales

The Development Bank of Wales are offering a three-month capital repayment holiday to their customers to help manage cash flow as the Coronavirus continues to develop.

https://developmentbank.wales/coronavirus-support-welsh-businesses

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

If you are unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic and your household is classed as low income you may be able to claim Housing benefit and Council Tax reduction.  For more information visit

https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Resident/Council-Tax-and-Benefits-and-Grants/Benefits-News.aspx

Universal Credit

You may also be entitled to Universal Credit during this period of uncertainty.  This depends on your household income but you can check your eligibility here

https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-universal-credit

Commercial insurance

Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19.

However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy).

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

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