New rules mean self-employed workers excluded from coronavirus grants worth £14k may now be eligible – how to check

SELF-EMPLOYED workers who've missed out two coronavirus grants worth £14,070 in total are being urged to check again to see if they're now entitled to the emergency cash.

The rule change means that new parents who were excluded from the first grant because they were pregnant or caring for a new child may now be able to make a claim.

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Applications for the first grant, worth up to £7,500, closed on July 13 but those who fall into this category may still be able to claim the payout.

This is on top of the second payout worth up to £6,570, meaning they may be entitled to help worth more than £14,000.

The tweak to the rules, which came into force on August 17 and were announced back in June, also applies to military reservists so it's worth checking if you can now claim the relief.

Under the original self employment income support scheme (SEISS) rules, new parents who didn't submit a 2018/19 tax return, or their trading profits were less than 50 per cent of their income, because they were caring for a newborn couldn't claim the help.

Self-employment grant: who can claim?

YOU can claim if you're a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your self assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19
  • traded in the tax year 2019/20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the current tax year (2020/21)
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus.

But now, HMRC will use their 2017/18 and 2016/17 tax returns to work out their eligibility instead.

Self-employed mums and dads who didn't file their taxes for one or more of the following reasons are now included in the scheme:

  • Because you were pregnant or you gave birth,
  • You were caring for a child under the age of one,
  • You were caring for an adopted child who had been with you for less than a year.

In order to qualify, they'll also need to meet the other criteria, such as you must have been self-employed in 2017/18 and submitted a tax return for the year before April 23 2020.

New parents will need to fill out an online form asking for HMRC to verify the information about their new child before October 5 2020.

You'll need your child's full name and date of birth, the date of adoption, child benefit number, your child's birth certificate and let them know whether you're claiming maternity allowance.

If you're eligible, HMRC will let you know if you're entitled to claim both grants or just the second payout.

Military reservists who were previously excluded from the scheme can now apply for the help too.

But to be eligible, you must be self-employed and carried out reservist activities for at least 90days during the period your 2018/19 profits are calculated.

What help is available?

THE government has introduced the following measures to help self-employed workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Income-tax deferrals: Self-assessment income tax payments, that were due in July, can be deferred to the end of January next year.
  • Rent support: Businesses who are struggling to pay their rents are protected from eviction until the end of June.
  • Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme: SMEs can get loans and overdrafts of up to £5 million for up to six years and the government with guarantee up to 80 per of these loans.
  • Grants of up to £10,000: Small firms can get grants of up to £10,000 to help with ongoing business costs.
  • VAT payments: VAT payments can be deferred for three months.
  • Tax bill help: SMEs that cannot afford their tax bills can ask HMRC for a “time to pay” arrangement so any debt collection is suspended.
  • Business rates holiday: A 12-month business rates holiday has been introduced for many businesses.

They also have to be self-employed in 2017/18 and submitted a tax return for the same year before April 23 2020.

Reservists can make a claim in the same way as other self-employed workers until October 19 2020.

Like with new parents, HMRC will let you know whether you're entitled to the first grant as well as the second.

The cash relief is to help those who work for themselves whose income has dropped due to the pandemic.

The scheme runs alongside furlough, which is open to PAYE employees to help them keep their jobs if they can't work because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

If you're eligible, the money will be transferred into your bank account within six working days.

You don't have to pay it back either but it will be classed as income so you'll have to pay tax on it, and it will affect your Universal Credit if you claim the help.

Around 2.5million people – half of Britain's army of self-employed workers – claimed the first SEISS grant between May and June this year.

This time around, claimants have to prove their income has been affected after July 14 before getting the payout.

The loophole means that loss of earnings in June and half of July is not covered by the government support.

 

 

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