Covid-19: Support for the Self-Employed




Support for the Self-Employed

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is the Government grant scheme for self-employed individuals whose businesses have been adversely affected by coronavirus.

The scheme has been extended. If you were not eligible for the first and second grant based on the information in your Self Assessment tax returns, you will not be eligible for the third. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000 and have been adversely affected by Covid-19.

  • HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.
  • To make a claim for the third grant your business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, which you reasonably believe will have a significant reduction in your profits.
  • The third taxable grant is worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.
  • The online service to claim the third grant is open. Make your claim from the date HMRC give you either by email, letter or within the service. If you’re eligible, you must make your claim for the third grant on or before 29 January 2021.
  • A fourth grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The Government will set out further details, including the level, of this grant in due course.

Find out more here

Deferral of Self-Assessment Payment

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact the HMRC coronavirus helpline for help and advice.

You had the option to defer your second payment on account if you were:

  • registered in the UK for Self Assessment and
  • finding it difficult to make that payment by 31 July 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus

You can still pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account any time up to 31 January 2021. There’ll be no interest or penalty as long as you pay in full by that date.

If you chose to defer your July 2020 payment on account

  • If you receive a Self Assessment statement before 31 January 2021 it may still show the deferred July 2020 payment on account as due and payable now.
  • You can still pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account any time up to 31 January 2021. You’ll not have interest or a penalty as long as you pay in full by that date.
  • Some statements may also show interest accruing if you have any payments on account. This interest will only apply to those other payments, not your deferred July 2020 payment on account.

If you’ve submitted your 2019 to 2020 return before you got your June 2020 statement

  • Your June 2020 Self Assessment statement will only show the revised due date for the July 2020 payment on account, plus any payments due in the next 45 days.

If you submit your 2019 to 2020 return before the December 2020 statements are issued

Your December statement will show all payments due on 31 January 2021, these could be:

  • your deferred July 2020 payment on account (if it remains unpaid)
  • any 2019 to 2020 balancing charge
  • your first 2020 to 2021 payment on account

Paying your Self Assessment tax bill
You can check payments you need to make towards your next tax bill by signing in to your online account.

Pay in full
You can pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account in full any time between now and 31 January 2021 using the online service.

Pay in instalments
You can pay your tax by instalments if you’re unable to pay in full by 31 January 2021. If you file your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment return early HMRC will know what payments you owe before the 31 January 2021 payment due date.

You’ll then be able to set up a Time to Pay instalment arrangement with HMRC.

If you owe up to £30,000 you can do this online without having to contact HMRC directly.

When you have filed your return you’ll need to wait at least 48 hours before you can set up your Time to Pay arrangement online.

Late payment penalties are charged when tax remains unpaid 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after its due date for payment. You can avoid them if you enter into a Time to Pay arrangement before they become due and you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time.

Interest is payable on Time to Pay instalments. Check guidance on interest rates for late and early payments.

Check the deadline dates for Self Assessment returns submission.

If you cannot pay your Self Assessment liabilities in full

You should contact HMRC as soon as you can if you are unable to pay your Self Assessment tax. We are determined to help all customers as much as possible. That help may mean setting up a Time to Pay instalment arrangement with you.

If you already have a Time to Pay arrangement in place for other overdue tax, you should contact us to amend that arrangement to include your deferred July 2020 Payment on Account and any other Self-Assessment payments becoming due on 31 January 2021.

Reducing your 2020 to 2021 payments on account.

Your Payments on Account are based on your previous year’s tax bill. If your financial situation has been impacted by coronavirus, you may have a reduced tax liability arising for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. You may want to apply to HMRC to reduce your 2020 to 2021 payments on account.

Other support for the self-employed

Locally, those who are self-employed in Cheshire and Warrington may be able to access support through:

  • Accelerate, which offers fully-funded online training to businesses with less than 50 employees, with courses available in areas including marketing,management and project management.
  • Business Growth Programme, which can help your business access fully funded support (in the form of one-to-one meetings, workshops, seminars, masterclasses and more) across a wide range of areas.