Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new income support scheme, aimed at helping self-employed workers who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will pay self-employed workers 80% of average profits over the past three years, up to £2,500 per month, for at least three months.
Self-employed people who are eligible can apply directly to HMRC for the grant, using an online form; HMRC will then pay the grant straight into your 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 will cover the three months to May. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all three months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.
The government advises that individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "Self-employed people are a crucial part of the UK’s workforce who’ve understandably been looking for reassurance and support during this national emergency.
"The package for the self-employed I’ve outlined today is one of the most generous in the world that has been announced so far. It targets support to those who need help most, offering the self-employed the same level of support as those in work.
"Together with support packages for businesses and for workers, I am confident we now have the measures in place to ensure we can get through this emergency together."
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