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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Ainsley Smith & Co

During the current crisis, the team at Ainsley Smith & Co. are committed to providing our business community up to date information in these uncertain times.

To help self employed individuals and businesses that do not currently use an accountancy support, Ainsley Smith & Co have distilled a summary of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to support self employed individuals (and members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Eligibility and Scope:

  • The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits. This is capped at £2500 per month;
  • HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. 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;
  • The scheme will be open for an initial three months. People should be able to make their first claim by the beginning of June;
  • To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all of the following criteria: be self-employed or a member of partnership; have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19; file a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership.
  • Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from the Chancellor’s announcement to do so; have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be had it not been for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021; have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions: (1) Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19 (2) Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

How to access SIESS:

  • You should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is up and running. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to your bank account, if you are eligible;
  • HMRC is currently working hard to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by beginning of June 2020.
  • Eligible individuals who have not yet submitted their Self-Assessment tax return for 2018-19, had until the 23 April 2020 to file their returns and thus become eligible for this scheme

Please be aware: if invited to apply, you will access this scheme only through GOV.UK

  • If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name or bank or credit details, it is a scam and should be ignored.
  • In the meantime, the self-employed may still be eligible for other government support including universal credit and business continuity loans.
  • Further guidance on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is available here

Recently Self Employed?

There is to be assistance (only in Scotland so far) for the newly self-employed.

So, if you only became self-employed during the last year you would not have fulfilled the criteria for the this self-employed assistance scheme but you may well qualify for small £2000 grants that will be operated by the local authority and soon there will be an online form.

We will ensure we update on this new system of support once more information becomes available.

Please do get in touch with Ainsley Smith & Co. if you require help accessing the appropriate and available support for your business.

About the author

Daniel MacIntyre

Daniel MacIntyre


Daniel is an experienced business development consultant, digital marketing manager and director of The View, Oban’s live music venue and bar.

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