Guidance

How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or member of a partnership find out how your circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme currently allows you to claim a taxable grant 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.

If you’re eligible you must make your claim for the first grant on or before 13 July 2020.

This scheme is being extended. Find out more about the extension to the scheme.

But if you have different circumstances it can affect your eligibility.

If your tax return is late, amended or under enquiry

If you did not submit your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 on or before 23 April 2020 you will not be able to claim. Claims based on late returns submitted between 26 March 2020 and 23 April 2020 will be subject to additional anti-fraud checks by HMRC.

When working out your eligibility or amount of the grant HMRC will not take into account Self Assessment tax returns for the tax years 2016 to 2017 or 2017 to 2018 if they are submitted after 23 April 2020.

HMRC will use data on the tax returns already submitted to identify those eligible to claim.

When working out your eligibility or amount of the grant we will not take into account any changes made to submitted returns after 6pm on 26 March 2020.

We will also only use the information in your original return if your tax return:

  • is under enquiry
  • has been the subject of a contract settlement

If you’re a member of a partnership

Each partner in your partnership will need to make a claim based on their own circumstances.

We will work out your eligibility based on your share of the partnership’s trading profits.

If the partnership rules require the grant to be paid into the partnership pot, the partnership should give the full grant back to you.

Example of how we work out your partnership eligibility.

If having a new child affected the trading profits you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019

If you’re self-employed and had a new child, you may still be able to make a claim.

If you’re already eligible for the grant based on your 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax returns, how we work out your grant amount will not be affected.

You may be able to make a claim if having a new child either:

  • affected the trading profits or total income you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • meant you did not submit a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019

For this scheme having a new child is any of the following:

  • being pregnant
  • giving birth (including a stillbirth after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy) and the 26 weeks after giving birth
  • caring for a child within 12 months of birth if you have parental responsibility
  • caring for a child within 12 months of adoption placement

You must have been self-employed in the tax year 2017 to 2018 and have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for that year.

You must also meet all other eligibility criteria.

We will work out your eligibility and average trading profits based on your Self Assessment tax returns for either the:

  • average of the tax years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 if you were self-employed in both these years
  • tax year 2017 to 2018 if you were not self-employed in the tax year 2016 to 2017

You’ll need to confirm to HMRC that being a new parent affected your trading profits or total income in the tax year 2018 to 2019, and provide supporting evidence. You’ll be able to do this for the first and second grant using an online form in August 2020.

Do not contact us yet as we will update the guidance to let you know when the form is available and tell you what evidence you’ll need to provide. Sign up for email alerts.

If you have loans covered by the loan charge and have not agreed a settlement with HMRC before 20 December 2019

If you have received payment for work or services in the form of a loan or other form of credit covered by the loan charge, you may be able to claim the grant if you were self-employed in the tax year 2017 to 2018 and have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for that year.

This also applies if your loans will be removed from the loan charge because of the changes announced by the government following the loan charge independent review.

HMRC will work out your eligibility and average trading profits based on either:

  • the average of the tax years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018
  • the tax year 2017 to 2018 if you were not self-employed in the tax year 2016 to 2017

You also did not have to file your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return by 23 April 2020. You should file by 30 September 2020.

If you claim averaging relief

If you’re a self-employed farmer or market gardener, or creative author or artist HMRC will use the amount of profit before the impact of the averaging claims to work out:

  • if you can claim the grant
  • how much grant you will receive

If you’re a military reservist

If you’re self-employed and not currently eligible for the grant, but carried out specified reservist activities, you may still be able to make a claim if all of the following apply:

  • you carried out specified reservist activities for at least 90 days in the period for which your trading profits or total income for the tax year 2018 to 2019 are determined
  • these reservist activities affected your trading profits or total income for that year
  • you were self-employed in the tax year 2017 to 2018 and have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for that year
  • all other eligibility criteria are met

You may also be eligible to make a claim if you started self-employment from 6 April 2018.

Specified reservist activities are:

  • full-time service commitment
  • additional duties commitment
  • call-out

You will also be able to make a claim even if you did not submit a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019.

We will work out your eligibility and average trading profits based on either the:

  • average of the tax years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018, if you were self-employed in both those years
  • tax year 2017 to 2018 if you were not self-employed in the tax year 2016 to 2017

We will not include any reservist income from the Ministry of Defence when working out your eligibility.

Do not contact us as we will contact you soon with more information if you may be eligible.

If you started self-employment from 6 April 2018

You may still be eligible to claim the grant if you have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 by 23 April 2020.

We will work out your eligibility based on the information in your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return.

We will not include any reservist income from the Ministry of Defence when working out your eligibility.

If you’re already eligible for the grant based on your 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax returns, how we work out your grant amount will not be affected.

State aid

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is a state aid granted under the European Commission’s Temporary Framework (section 3.10), designed to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The aid must be granted no later than 31 December 2020.

If you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis

You may be eligible for the grant if you’re self-employed and are either:

You must confirm to HMRC one of the following:

  • your UK trading profits in the tax year 2018 to 2019 are no more than £50,000 and are at least equal to your other worldwide income in that tax year
  • if you traded in the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019, your average UK trading profit in those tax years is no more than £50,000 and the sum of those trading profits is at least equal to the sum of your other worldwide income in those tax years
  • if you traded in the tax years 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 (but not 2016 to 2017), your average UK trading profit in the tax years 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 is no more than £50,000 and the sum of those trading profits is at least equal to the sum of your other worldwide income in those tax years

If you did not trade in the tax year 2017 to 2018, we’ll base your eligibility on the tax year 2018 to 2019.

If you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis and are subject to the loan charge you must confirm to HMRC either:

  • if you traded in the 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 your average UK trading profit for those tax years is no more than £50,000 and the sum of those trading profits is at least equal to the sum of your other worldwide income in those tax years
  • if you did not trade in the tax year 2016 to 2017, your UK trading profits for the tax year 2017 to 2018 are no more than £50,000 and are at least equal to your other worldwide income in that tax year

Adversely affected examples

The scenarios below help explain when you would be ‘adversely affected’ for the first grant, and for the second grant if you’ve been ‘adversely affected’ on or after 14 July 2020.

To receive a grant all other conditions would also need to be met.

Scenario 1

A builder worked on a very small building site and was still able to go to work throughout the pandemic as she was able to work within the social distancing rules.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant No
Second grant No

Reason

As the builder’s trade was not adversely affected by coronavirus she is not eligible to claim either grant.

Scenario 2

A builder was unable to find work from March 2020 to September 2020 because of the government restrictions on building sites and the economic impact of the pandemic on the companies she worked for.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant Yes

Reason

As the builder’s business was adversely affected by coronavirus before and, on or after 14 July 2020, she is eligible to claim both grants.

Scenario 3

A builder worked on short-term contracts on different building sites. She only had half the work she would normally have in April 2020 and May 2020 because some of the building sites were closed. She was able to work as normal from June 2020 because the building sites reopened.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant No

Reason

As the builder’s business was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 she is eligible to claim the first grant. However, her business was not adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020 so she is not eligible to claim the second grant.

Scenario 4

A builder was able to work as normal from February 2020 to August 2020 because she works on small house extensions which are completely outdoors. However, she caught coronavirus in August 2020, meaning she was unable to work for 6 weeks while she recovered.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant No
Second grant Yes

Reason

As the builder was able to work as normal and not adversely affected until after 14 July 2020 she is not eligible to claim the first grant. Her business was adversely affected by coronavirus in August 2020 when she was unable to work for 6 weeks so she is eligible to claim the second grant.

Scenario 5

A shop owner closed his shop from March 2020 to 14 June 2020. He reopened his shop on 15 June 2020, but the number of customers he could serve was lower because of the social distancing rules. He also had increased costs due to buying protective equipment.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant Yes

Reason

As the shop was closed his business was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 so he was eligible to claim the first grant. His business was also adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 because the number of customers were significantly lower and increased costs for protective equipment he was also eligible to claim the second grant.

Scenario 6

A builder was due to start a 3-month project building a house extension in August 2020. However, this contract was cancelled on 15 April 2020 because the owner of the house had been impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The builder incurred additional costs to find new work. From June 2020 onwards, after building sites opened, she was able to work as normal.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant No

Reason

As the builder’s contract was cancelled in April 2020, she was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 so she was eligible to claim the first grant. She resumed work as normal from June 2020 and was able to find other work. Her business was not adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, so she was not eligible to claim the second grant.

Published 1 May 2020
Last updated 2 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Information for military reservists has been added. More information about if having a new child affected the trading profits you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019 has been added. Included another example on how your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus.

  2. Examples added to show when the ‘adversely affected’ criteria for the first and second grants will be met.

  3. A Welsh version of the page has been added.

  4. More information has been added about what you must confirm to HMRC if you’re non-resident or have chosen the remittance basis.

  5. First published.