April 10, 2020 at 16:25 #150631KellyParticipant
Hey, I’ve been self-employed for just over a year, but I heard the government will look at tax returns from the last three years. Does that mean I don’t qualify for help? xxApril 11, 2020 at 09:52 #150643
As long as you submitted a 2018/2019 tax return, HMRC will use the information to assess your eligibility for the self-employed income support scheme. You don’t HAVE to have a full three years’ tax returns for them to look at, they’re just using three years to be able to average out profit for a more accurate grant figure (as self-employed income can vary wildly from year to year).
If your tax return was very low (because you worked a part tax year when you started out), this could mean you’re not likely to get much support from the SEISS grant. If you’re struggling with your income, register for Universal Credit. You can still work as a self-employed person if you’re receiving UC – you’ll report your monthly income and expenses, and any month you don’t earn enough you’ll receive a UC payment. The months where you earn more, you won’t get a UC payment, or it’ll be tapered. This taper is based on 63p less UC for every £1 you earn over the minimum allowance. (The allowance is different for each person, based on your circumstances).
Hope that helps!April 11, 2020 at 10:57 #150657KellyParticipant
Oh thanks Annie, this is so useful! Reassuring to know I’ll be able to at least get something 🙂 xxApril 12, 2020 at 14:27 #150681Sam SmithParticipant
Thanks for this Annie, I was also wondering the same thing. I’ve been self-employed for less than 12 months and have only filed one tax return. Tax office tell me that everything is okay and I’m up to date. But knowing if I qualify for support has been playing on my mind. I’m still able to work, but there has been a noticeable slow down as employers (understandably) tighten their belts.
Thank you for your adviceApril 12, 2020 at 19:45 #150699HannahParticipant
Thanks for the info here! I was wondering how this would be affected too as my partner has become self-employed but only within the past year but good to hear it should all be okay.April 13, 2020 at 11:16 #150709Sam SmithParticipant
I’m tempted to not even bother. Being self employed for less than a year means applying for what I’m entitled to may be more hassle than it’s worth. I’m still able to work you see, so I feel my efforts would be better placed there.April 13, 2020 at 13:41 #150713
If your partner was self-employed only in the last tax year, and so hasn’t yet submitted a return, he unfortunately won’t be eligible. At the moment, the only financial support he could claim is Universal Credit – which he can still claim if he is still working in his self-employment. Income is assessed monthly and worked out based on profit (after expenses), so if he has a slow month then Universal Credit can top up his earnings. In months where he earns above the limit, he won’t get any UC – but his claim won’t automatically close, in case the following month is low again. If he does earn above £569.22 in any assessment period, he can also apply for the Help to Save bank account. I’ve written a guide about that here – it means up to £1200 free from the Govt, over the next 4 years.April 13, 2020 at 13:43 #150714
I’m tempted to not even bother. Being self employed for less than a year means applying for what I’m entitled to may be more hassle than it’s worth. I’m still able to work you see, so I feel my efforts would be better placed there.
The SEISS scheme is a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” basis – so HMRC will simply tell you if you’re eligible, and you need to fill out a short online form if you are. It takes a lot of the hassle out of it – and as you can keep working, it’s worth applying if they say you’re eligible as you could get more than you expected!
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