PLEASE NOTE THAT THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE MAY NO LONGER BE CURRENT. During the coronavirus pandemic, important news and announcements are being made daily. Official advice can change from one day to the next. We are doing our best to keep our COVID-19 information up to date on these two pages - but we recommend you check any information with official government, NHS or other responsible sources before acting on it.

COVID-19 advice and updates for SMEs and the self-employed

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COVID-19 personal finances advice and updates

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Many of our clients have been asking for more details about when Self-Employment Income Support Scheme applications go live. The scheme pays self-employed people 80% of their average trading profits over 3 months, in a single sum.

Before we look at the application process, you may find it helpful to read our posts on how the scheme works, checking your eligibility for it and how to calculate your trading profits.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Applications – live 13


So, when can you apply? Since Monday, HMRC has begun to contact people it believes are eligible for the scheme. The claims service will now open on 13 May, ahead of the original timetable.

Before the claims service opens, you can check your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). You can do this online via this page.

However we must stress that this calculator is not completely foolproof. We have already encountered one situation where the calculator indicated eligibility when in fact our client had ceased trading in June 2018 and would therefore have been excluded. So our best advice for everyone claiming is to read the eligibility critria and rules carefully to avoid being caught out and repay amounts received in due course.

Notwithstanding that advice, to use this service, you will need:

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. This is a 10-digit number you can find on your tax returns and other Self-Assessment correspondence
  • Your National Insurance (NI) number.

Once you have entered these, HMRC will ask for your contact details. It will use these to tell what you need to do to claim, and when you can apply.

However, to reach this stage you will need to log in to the Government Gateway. If you don’t have a Government Gateway account, set one up now – otherwise you will face a delay when claiming.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme applications system opens at 8am on 13th May. You need to know that THP cannot make the claim for you – you have to do it yourself using your Government Gateway account. We can help our clients calculate what they are allowed to claim, but you must make the actual application.

If you have any queries, please get in touch with your account manager.

Is the Chancellor planning to wind down CJRS?

Today the Guardian reports that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is preparing to wind down the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme when lockdown measures are gradually lifted.

The newspaper reports that Sunak is looking at a number of options, including tapering the scheme from an 80% wage subsidy to one of 60%  – and lowering the £2,500 ceiling on monthly payments. Another possibility is allowing furloughed staff to work, but giving them a reduced subsidy.

It’s important to understand that these changes are not confirmed. However, the Chancellor is expected to announce any changes to the plan by mid-May. This would give employers the opportunity to plan and make redundancies before the current scheme finishes at the end of June. This is important – employers with more than 100 staff must hold a 45-day consultation before laying anyone off.

If you are an employer, our advice would be to plan for a reduced furlough scheme. We hope you’ll be able to avoid redundancies, but it would be wise to consider how to move forward. If you’re a THP client and would like to talk through your options, please do get in touch.



Avatar for Jon Pryse-Jones
About Jon Pryse-Jones

Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.

An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”

Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board.  “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says.  He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.

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