Self-employed warning: Returns must be done by next week for state grants – charities help
Coronavirus has forced the government to offer various support packages for both businesses and individuals. These packages have been announced in stages and some of the first groups to be offered help were companies, employees and benefit claimers.
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The state was criticised for delaying support for the self-employed but eventually a package was announced.
Towards the end of March, the government unveiled the self-employed income support scheme which allows people to claim a taxable grant worth 80 percent of the claimants trading profits.
This can provide people with a maximum of £2,500 a month for up to three months, although this may be extended.
Eligibility for the grant revolves around reported earnings/losses and is dependent on self-assessment tax returns, with a deadline on this quickly approaching.
Receiving the grant requires that the claimant must have submitted their self-assessment tax return for the 2018/19 tax year.
The deadline for completing and submitting this tax return is April 23.
This specific detail must be completed because the HMRC uses the data within it to identify eligibility.
If a return is late it could affect a grant claim.
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There are only a few days remaining for this which could be causing stress for self-employed people who did not expect to be in this position at all.
Fortunately, support is available for people who need help.
Taxaid, the charity that aims to help people on low incomes with their tax affairs, have recently launched a dedicated service for helping the self-employed.
The charity details that they are offering emergency support for self-employed people who are struggling to complete their 2018/19 tax return.
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Affected people can call the charity directly who can then help them complete and submit the return.
They have also provided a free guide for people who are not in dire straits but just need a bit of help.
Self-employed people who wish to file their returns online and have everything that’s needed, such as NI numbers and unique taxpayer references, can follow the step by step instructions provided by the charity.
On top of this, the organisation will also be providing short instructional videos which answer commonly asked questions.
Another charitable initiative is also being offered by the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group. This organisation has dedicated entire sections of their website to the latest news and effects of coronavirus.
The page in question has links to several web pages that contain the latest information on the disease and what consumers should do.
Thus far, the organisation has information dedicated to employers, employees, the self-employed, individuals and families. It should be noted that while this support will be useful for many, actual claims cannot be made yet.
The government states that HMRC will contact self-employed people individually by mid-May if they’re eligible. These people will then be invited to claim using the government’s website.
They also warn that people will only be able to claim through this method, meaning any texts, calls or emails received that claim to offer support will likely be a scam.
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