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 impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

The online service has closed for the first and second grant.

Find out about the first and second grant in a previous version of this guidance on The National Archives.

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.

HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits.

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.

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.

Applications for the third grant will open from 30 November 2020. Make your claim from the date we 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.

The grant does not need to be repaid if you’re eligible, but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must be reported on your 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return.

You must keep evidence to support your claim.

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 can follow these steps to help you understand what you can do now.

  1. Find out who can claim.
  2. Check that your business has been impacted by coronavirus.
  3. Find out how HMRC works out your grant.
  4. Make your claim when the online service is available.

Who can claim

To be eligible for the third grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. 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.

You must have traded in both tax years:

  • 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • 2019 to 2020

You must either:

You must also declare that:

  • you intend to continue to trade
  • you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits

Reasonable belief

In order to claim, you must reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period 1 November to 29 January 2021. You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.

Significant reduction

Before you make a claim, you must decide if the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in.

HMRC cannot make this decision for you because your individual and wider business circumstances will need to be considered when deciding whether the reduction is significant.

You should wait until you have a reasonable belief that your trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before you make your claim.

There are some examples that can help you decide.

How HMRC works out your eligibility

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.

How different circumstances affect the scheme

There are some circumstances that can affect your eligibility such as if:

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

Find out more information on how your circumstances affect your eligibility.

How to claim

The online service for the third grant will be available from 30 November 2020.

You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021.

You should contact HMRC if you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC as this may be a scam.

How we work out the amount of the third grant

This is an example of how we will work out how much grant you’ll get if your average trading profits were £42,000 over the last 3 tax years.

If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a grant worth of 80% paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

Example

Average trading profit £42,000
Divide by 12 £3,500
Multiply by 3 £10,500
Work out 80% £8,400
You will only receive £7,500 due to the cap

Further support

There will be a fourth grant covering February 2021 to April 2021. We will set out further details, including the level of the fourth grant in due course.

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 any tax credits you claim, 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 24 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. This page has been updated with the information for the third grant of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

  2. The service is now closed for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. You can no longer make a claim for the second grant.

  3. Added translation

  4. Added translation

  5. This scheme is being extended. Guidance will be updated as soon as possible.

  6. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claim service is now open.

  7. Added translation

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

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

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

  11. 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.

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

  13. Added translation

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. Updated as previous version published in error.

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

  19. First published.