Coronavirus Update: Help for Self-Employed Professionals

Up to 80% of profits in Covid-19 aid for self-employed people

Financial relief measures for UK businesses and tradespeople during the coronavirus outbreak has now been extended by the UK government to full-time self-employed professionals, as well as those who earn the majority of their income through self-employment – around 3.8 million people. Self-employed professionals can also continue to work as in addition to the financial aid.

The new coronavirus self-employment income support scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 26 March 2020 means self-employed professionals can apply for a grant of up to 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, with a maximum payment of £2,500 a month. For those without three years of accounts, financial aid may be decided on based on the average of the accounts that have been filed.

Financial support for the self-employed and freelancers from June

All those who are already in self-employment, have a tax return for 2019, and who have trading profits of up to £50,000 per year, will be eligible for the financial support. It will be delivered to eligible recipients in a lump sum and payments will start being made from June, backdated to March.

Business interruption loans for the self-employed and freelancers

In the meantime, self-employed workers can access business interruption loans from the UK government. Self-assessment income tax payments that were due to be paid in July 2020 due in July can also be postponed until up to the end of January 2021 if required.

Universal credit changes for the self-employed

Self-employed professionals can now access the universal credit system fully. For example, someone who is self-employed, has two children, a partner who is not in employment, and who resides in the social rented sector, is now eligible for up to £1,800 monthly.

Applying for Covid-19 outbreak financial aid

Eligible self-employed professionals will be contacted by HMRC directly, and need to simply complete an online form for HMRC to pay the grant straight into their bank account. The coronavirus self-employment income support scheme will last for at least three months.

Extension to tax return deadline till 23 April

Anyone who missed the January filing deadline for self-employed tax returns has also been given an extra grace period to complete them - until 23 April 2020.

Business insurance from Towergate

Whether you’re a large business, SME, sole trader, work from home, or have a property empire, Towergate has got an insurance policy for you. For more information, visit our dedicated business insurance page.

About the author

Mike Stephens FCII is a respected senior industry professional and Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) with well over 40 years’ varied experience in the commercial insurance sector as a director, underwriter, and operational improvement manager.