COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

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. HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly with guidance on how to apply.

The income support scheme 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.

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.


  • The maximum monthly grant will be £2,500

  • The grant will be taxable. The chancellor did not say whether it will also be subject to NI

  • HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant

  • If you have been self employed for less than 3 years HMRC will use the average of the profits per the tax returns submitted

  • If you have not yet submitted your 2018/19 tax return, which should have been submitted by 31st January 2020 you have until 23td April 2020 to get your return submitted to claim under this scheme

  • If you started self employment on or after 6th April 2019, you will not be entitled to anything under thus scheme

  • If you made losses in each of the years for which returns have been submitted, you will get nothing under this scheme.

  • This scheme also applies to members of partnerships

  • before grant payments are made, the self-employed will still be able to access other available government support for those affected by coronavirus including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans where they have a business bank account

  • Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.

  • Further information and details of the scheme will be shared shortly by HMRC



Unfortunately, HMRC are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. If someone gets in touch claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond.

HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for these details.