Guidance

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant.

The scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

As with the first grant HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible.

We will work out your eligibility for the second grant in the same way as the first grant.

You can make a claim for the second grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

How the grant works

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as a military reservist.

The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. But you can follow these steps to help you understand how we will do this and what you can do now.

  1. Find out who can claim.

  2. Find out how HMRC works out your grant.

  3. Make your claim when the online service is available.

  4. Find out what happens after you’ve claimed.

Who can claim

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:

  • you’re unable to work because you:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • you’ve had to scale down, temporarily stop trading or incurred additional costs because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come in to work
    • one or more of your contracts have been cancelled
    • you had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules

Find examples of when you would be ‘adversely affected’.

You must keep evidence to confirm your business was adversely affected at the time you made your claim.

All of the following must also apply:

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus

You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

To work out your eligibility we will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return. Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.

If you’re not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, we will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.

Find out how we will work out your eligibility including if we have to use other years.

Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.

You must make the claim yourself. Your tax agent or adviser must not claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, and you will have to contact HMRC. This will cause a significant delay to you receiving your payment.

How different circumstances affect the scheme

Check if your circumstances affect your eligibility for the following:

  • if your return is late, amended or under enquiry
  • if you’re a member of a partnership
  • if you had a new child
  • if you have loans covered by the loan charge
  • if you claim averaging relief
  • if you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis
  • if you’re a military reservist
  • state aid
  • adversely affected examples

If you’re eligible

If you want to claim the second and final grant you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.

To claim you’ll need your:

  • Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including:
    • bank account number
    • sort code
    • name on the account
    • your address linked to your bank account

You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020.

If you’re not eligible

We use the information you or your tax agent or adviser sent us on your Self Assessment tax returns to work out your eligibility.

If you think the information is incorrect contact HMRC.

Find other help and support you can get.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

We will work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then we will divide by 3.

The second and final grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. The online service will tell you how we’ve worked your grant out.

The grant amount we work out for you will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

Find out how we will work out your average trading profits including if you have not traded for all 3 years.

How to claim

The online service is not available yet. If you’re eligible you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. You should email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.

Other help you can get

Get other financial support

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but even if the claim is not approved it will affect your tax credits if you claim them, and may affect other benefits. So you should:

If you make a claim for Universal Credit the grant may affect the amount you get, but will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.

The government is also providing the following help for the self-employed:

If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Get help online

You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

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

Find coronavirus financial support for your business.

Contacting HMRC

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.

Published 26 March 2020
Last updated 16 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added translation

  2. Updated to confirm that the online service for the first grant is closed. Included further information about the second and final grant.

  3. New examples for how a business could be adversely affected by coronavirus have been added.

  4. Further information about the extension to the scheme has been added.

  5. The scheme has now been extended. A second and final grant will be available when the scheme opens again in August 2020. If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.

  6. The online service is now available. Make your claim from the date we gave you when you checked your eligibility.

  7. Added translation

  8. The 'How to claim' section updated with the date the online service will be available, if you’re eligible, we will tell you the date you can make your claim from and that if your claim is approved you’ll receive your payment within 6 working days.

  9. You can use our new online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim.

  10. More information has been added about who can claim the grant and how different circumstances can affect the scheme. Information on how state aid could affect your claim has been added and we’ve included information about the impact of claiming the grant on all work visas.

  11. Updated as previous version published in error.

  12. This guidance has been updated with more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

  13. First published.