Self-employed: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Labour, Hemsworth

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what Government support is available for people classed as self-employed solely for the 2019-20 tax year who have experienced a loss of income and are ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) continues to be one of the most generous self-employed COVID-19 support schemes in the world. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to include those who began trading after the 2018-19 tax year in the SEISS. This was a very difficult decision and it was taken for practical reasons. The most reliable and up-to-date record of self-employed income is from 2018-19 tax returns. Individuals can submit Income Tax?Self-Assessment?returns for 2019-20 trading activity, but there would be significant risks for the public purse if the Government relied on these returns for the SEISS.

Those not eligible for the SEISS may still have access to other elements of the financial support package made available by the Government. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?mortgage holidays, and other business support grants. The Government has also temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 by £20 per week and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings.

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