Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Treasury written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour, Streatham

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 11 November 2020 to Question 110758, if he will enable people who are long-term self-employed to submit previous self-assessment returns prior to 2018-19 for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme.

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

The Government has provided, and will continue to provide, generous support to the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

If an individual is not eligible based on their 2018-19 Self Assessment return, HM Revenue & Customs will then look at their Self Assessment returns from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine their eligibility. This reduces the impact of one-off events, such as a redundancy payment, in determining eligibility.

To calculate an individual’s average trading profits for the purposes of the SEISS grant, HMRC will consider previous Self Assessment returns prior to 2018-2019, where possible.

The grant is calculated by taking an average of yearly trading profits over the last three tax years and dividing this by four to give a three-month average. The grant will then be provided at 80% of this three-month average, capped at £7,500.

Moreover, the SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of support for the self-employed. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

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