Chancellor’s Announcement 26 March 2020

The Chancellor has announced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme as part of the package of measures to support the economy. The new Self -Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will give a direct cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 to eligible self-employed individuals. The SEISS has just been announced and the details will need to be clarified but at this point we understand that :

  • The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19
  • To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment
  • To minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment and meet the above conditions will be eligible to apply
  • The income support scheme, which is being designed by HMRC from scratch, will cover the three months to May. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all 3 months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.

How to access SEISS

  • HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly with guidance on how to apply
  • Individuals should not contact HMRC now

The scheme excludes those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company. Those individuals will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they operate a PAYE scheme.

Update 27 March 2020

The Government has now released guidance on how to claim a grant through the coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) You can apply if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 – if you have not done this, you must do so by 23 April
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
  • your self-employed trading profits/partnership trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income comes from self-employment.

YOU CANNOT APPLY for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible and invite you to apply online.


HMRC are warning that you will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.