Self-employed help ‘will be paid within six days’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Support given: the self-employed help will be provided within days of application
Support given: the self-employed help will be provided within days of application

Related tags: coronavirus

Self-employed publicans are being invited to get their claims ready for coronavirus support as HMRC will begin to contact those eligible for the help from today (Monday 4 May).

Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant, worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in one instalment.

HMRC is also inviting those self-employed, to go online and check their eligibility for the support​. In order to receive quick confirmation from the eligibility tracker, self-employed workers should have their unique taxpayer reference and national insurance number to hand and ensure their details are up to date in their Government Gateway account.

The claims service will open on 13 May, the Government said the process will be very simple and, those eligible, will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim.

Self-employed publicans are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading and they earn at least half of their income through self-employment, having trading profits of no more than £50,000 a year, and trading in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their self-assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year.

Government-backed loans

HMRC is using information self-employed workers provided in their 2018 to 2019 tax return – and returns for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 where needed – to determine their eligibility and is contacting those who may be eligible via email, text message or letter.

Also today (Monday 4 May), the Government has launched the state-backed Bounce Back Loan Scheme​, where businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the case arriving “within days”.

The loans will be 100% Government backed for lenders and businesses can apply online through a short form.

The Government has also agreed with lenders that a flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans and any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of less than £50,000 can apply to have these changed to the new scheme.

Meanwhile, the business secretary Alok Sharma and minister for regional growth and local government Simon Clarke have spoken with local authorities in England to state up to £617m would be made available for businesses that were unable to access grants previously.

Further grant

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The Government is asking councils to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for small business rates relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

But, local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need and the allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and must be able to demonstrate they have seen a significant drop in income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments with the maximum of £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000 and local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

The Government stated further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly.

Related topics: Legislation, UnitedWeStand

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