News and Events

Treasury Direction: Self-Employed Scheme

  • Posted

The Treasury has published its Direction to HMRC giving statutory footing for the government's self-employed income support scheme.

Some points arising:-

- a claim may only be made in relation to a trade, the business of which has been adversely affected by coronavirus or coronavirus disease (para 4.2(a)).  This departs from my previous understanding, which was that the grant applied to any self-employed person (provided they fulfilled certain financial criteria)

- the claimant only needs to have completed a tax return in one of three relevant years (it is no longer confined to completing a tax return for 2018/19), albeit they need to have traded in 2018/19, 2019/20 and intend to trade in 2020/21.  They need to have had an income (profit before tax) of under £50,000pa.

- the grant (now called a SEISS payment) is 80% of 3 months' earnings, typically (but it's complicated) averaged over the last three years.  As was believed to be the case, no credit is given for any actual earnings received by the individual.  So if they lost, say, only £100 of trading profits because of coronavirus, they would still receive up to £7,500 (the maximum SEISS payment) - para 6.