• Nicola Curson

How to Apply for a Self Employed Income Support Scheme Grant

HMRC has brought forward the rollout of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, with payments now being made from late May.

I’ve summarised the key points of the scheme and the action you need to take below. 

For full details, please visit HMRC’s website here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#check

What Do I Get?

A taxable grant worth 80% of your monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months.  The grant will be awarded in one lump sum, covering the three months, which is capped at £7,500.  At the moment this is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

Am I Eligible?

To claim the grant, you need to meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Be a Self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

  2. Have traded in the tax year 2018/19 and submitted your self-assessment return for that tax year by 23 April 2020.

  3. Have still traded in the in tax year 2019/20.

  4. Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/21 (you may be closed at the moment due to Coronavirus, provided you would have been trading, if not for the coronavirus outbreak).

  5. Your trade has been adversely affected by Coronavirus (see HMRC’s website link above for further details on this requirement).

  6. Your annual trading profits must be no more than £50,000.

  7. Trading profits must be at least equal to non-trading income (i.e. income from employment).

HMRC are applying these rules strictly.  They will use the information from filed Self-Assessment Returns to determine points 1, 2, 6 and 7 above.  They have also issued warnings that, should claims be made where points 3, 4 and 5 above are not true, they will take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest and inaccurate. 

Please remember that HMRC will have access to VAT Returns and further filed Self-Assessment Returns, all of which will indicate whether your business has been affected by Coronavirus and if you continued to trade.

Use HMRC’s Checker Tool and Get a Date

HMRC have introduced an online checking tool so that you can find out if you are eligible to make a claim.  To use this, you will need your:

  • UTR – 10 digit reference number supplied by HMRC, which can be found on the top of your self-assessment returns, tax calculations or most correspondence from HMRC regarding your self-assessment.

  • National Insurance Number

To access the checker, please visit HMRC’s website here https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

You will be given an instant decision.  If you’re eligible, you’ll be asked for your contact details.

If the checker indicates that you are not eligible, but you think you are, you can ask HMRC to review this.  Details on how to do this are shown on the decision page of the checker.


How do I Claim?

If the checker confirms you are eligible, the claim needs to be made online via your online Tax Account (sometimes known as Government Gateway).  The online service opens on 13 May 2020, but access to make a claim will not be given to everyone immediately. You will be provided with your access date once you have used the online checker mentioned above.

If you don’t have an online Tax Account, details of how to set one up are shown when you use the online checker tool (see above). 

To make your claim, you’ll need the following:

  • Self-Assessment UTR

  • National Insurance Number

  • Government Gateway ID and password to access your tax account

  • Bank account number and sort code you want the grant paid into.

You’ll need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus.  It’s our understanding that HMRC will not ask for any figures or evidence to support this on the application, you will just need to tick a box to confirm this.  As mentioned before, HMRC may check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate.

When do I Receive my Claim?

Upon submitting your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved.  The grant will then be paid into your bank account within six working days.

As the grant is taxable, and liable to National Insurance, you need to keep a copy of the claim in your accounting records.  The amount claimed as this has to be included in your 2020/21 tax return. 

Receipt of this grant also needs to be reported if you make a Universal Credit Claim, as it’s classed as self-employed income.

Phone:  01636 681181

Email:   info@zestaccountants.co.uk

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