Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his financial support package for the self-employed, but t may not meet the expectations of everyone.
Self-employed landlords whose earnings are impacted by the coronavirus outbreak can claim a taxable grant of up to 80% of their average monthly profits over the past three years.
The pledge comes with some restrictions –
- Claiming the grant is limited to the self-employed earning no more than £50,000 a year to exclude celebrities and the wealthy earning much more
- The payment is capped at £2,500 a month
- Tax filings must be up-to-date, including self-assessments due on January 31. A 28-day window is open for late-filers to catch up
- Sunak has hinted the self-employed should expect tax parity with other workers earning the same amount once the coronavirus crisis passes
HM Revenue and Customs will contact eligible self-employed workers to point them to an online application for the grant.
If successful, the grant will be paid directly into claimant bank accounts in June, with the amount back-dated three months until March.
Scope to extend the support is available if necessary.
However, many landlords may not qualify to claim the grant.
Exceptions are likely to include those who are directors of a property company who may be classed as employees and landlords with property as their only income, who might be classed as living off investments.
Other applications leading to problems could be the newly self-employed with no accounts and long-term landlords who have failed to declare their earnings.
While the support is readied, the self-employed can still access Universal Credit and Business Interruption Loans. Other measures to aid cashflow include deferrals of VAT and income tax.
“The scheme I have announced today is fair,” said Sunak.
“It is targeted at those who need it the most.
“Crucially, it is deliverable.
“And it provides an unprecedented level of support for self-employed people.”