Coronavirus: Government Support for the Self-Employed – 26 March 2020 announcements

The government has now announced how it will support self-employed workers during the coronavirus crisis. Here’s answers to our FAQ’s, we will update as more details are released.

Who is eligible?

You must meet ALL the following criteria:

  1. you submitted your Self-Assessment tax return for 2018-19, which was due by 31/1/2020. If you still haven’t filed, you have up to 23/4/20 to file it and still be eligible for the grant
  2. you traded in the current tax year (2019-20)
  3. you are trading when you apply, or you would be except for COVID-19
  4. you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  5. you’ve lost trading profits due to COVID-19
  6. More than half your income is from self-employment and your sole trader profits are less than £50k. The period you look at for this is EITHER:
    • 2018/19   or
    • Average of 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 (or less if you started trading in that period)

At present it is unclear whether a calculation is required for point 5, or whether the individual merely needs to make a declaration to that effect.

How much will I get?

The grant will be worth 80% of your trading profits up to a max of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months, which could potentially get extended beyond that.

How do I apply?

The scheme will open in June. You cannot do anything yet. HMRC will contact those who qualify, we expect by letter. Applications will be online from within your Gov.UK account. **Please wary of potential scams – there won’t be calls, texts or emails from HMRC asking for bank details.**

Is the grant tax-free?

No, it is taxed like normal trading income

I am a director and shareholder and I pay myself by salary and dividends – do I qualify for the self-employment grant?

Not for this scheme as you are not classed as self-employed. You may be eligible for:

Can I still work and claim the grant?


The exact qualifying condition as shown on is if you:

‘have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19′

I.e. the rule is not ‘you must have stopped work due to COVID-19’

It appears that even those with modest reductions in income would be eligible, but the rules could be refined further when the details are ironed out.

Please Email or call me for a no-obligation chat

The above is general guidance only and should not be solely relied upon without consideration of other factors which are too lengthy to go into in this article