Good morning. Today we’re going to cover two stories. First up is a new plan that could potentially offer help for the self-employed who are ineligible for the SEISS scheme. Second is information about the recently announced extension to this month’s tax return deadline.

Extra help for self-employed on the horizon?

According to media reports, the Chancellor has recently been presented with the findings of the ‘Gaps in Support All Party Parliamentary Group’. This group has been working to find solutions for people who have been excluded from government support schemes during the pandemic.

Of particular concern to the group are four categories of people. These are:

  • The newly self-employed. People who entered self-employment after 5th April 2019 have not been eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). This is because they were unable to submit a tax return for 2018/19.
  • PAYE freelancers. These are self-employed people who are paid via a payroll for some or all of their work. This people have typically not been able to claim SEISS because more than 50% of their income comes from PAYE work. However, because they are not employees, they are not entitled to the CJRS (‘Furlough Scheme’) either.
  • Limited company directors. Self-employed people who trade via a limited company have not qualified for SEISS. Instead, they have been able to claim CJRS / Furlough for 80% of their basic salary (typically £585 per month). However, unlike SEISS claimants, people on furlough are not allowed to continue working on the days they claim for.
  • People excluded by the 50/50 rule. Over 1 million people have been unable to claim SEISS because their trading profits comprise less than 50% of their total income.

What help is the Gaps in Support group suggesting? 

The Gaps in Support All Party Parliamentary Group is proposing a new scheme, which it has christened ‘The Targeted Income Grant Scheme’ (TIGS). It proposes that the government offers the following help for self-employed people who are currently ineligible for SEISS.

  • Newly self-employed: 4th SEISS grant OR a one-off £3,500 grant
  • PAYE freelancers: 4th SEISS grant OR a one-off £7,500 grant
  • Limited company directors: Directors Income Support Scheme (like the one in place in Northern Ireland) OR a one-off £7,500 grant
  • People excluded by the 50/50 rule. 4th SEISS grant OR a one-off £7,500 grant

Will the TIGS self-employed help proposals become policy? 

Currently, all we can confirm is that the Chancellor has received the proposals. Yesterday, he told Parliament that he ‘is considering it alongside all the other submissions that we received at the Treasury’.

So, it’s far from certain the proposals will be implemented. However, given the additional support on offer in Northern Ireland, plus the pressure that’s currently being put on the Treasury, it’s highly possible that extra support will be available.

But when? As we reported on Monday, the Chancellor will announce details of the 4th SEISS grant on Budget day on 3rd March. It’s likely that any changes that offer extra help for self-employed people will be announced then. We’ll keep you updated.

Tax return deadline extended

A quick heads-up, in case you haven’t yet heard. HMRC has extended the Self-Assessment Tax Return Deadline by a month. The official deadline is still 31st January, but you will not receive a penalty as long as you submit yours by 28th February.

However, before you take a big sigh of relief, we strongly suggest you don’t wait until February. Even though the deadline is extended, you still have to pay what you owe by 31st January. If you don’t, interest will be applied from 1st February. That said, if you are under pressure and unable to file, the extended deadline will give you some breathing space. Just be sure to file as soon as you can to keep added interest to a minimum.

Avatar for Mark Boulter
About Mark Boulter

Mark Boulter is responsible for the efficient running of the firm’s infrastructure, and ensuring that THP delivers the best client service. Promoting the vision and culture across all branches, people are the key: “I like people who have a fresh approach and I’m happy for them to run with their ideas,” he says.

Communication across departments is crucial and Mark pioneers this. He ensure that people and departments not only talk to each other, but that they share ideas– whether they’re about marketing, finance, sales, strategy or any other topic that can result in us offering a better service. “I think helping to develop the next generation of THP people is essential to our success,” Mark adds. “We’ve a lot of talented people and our way of doing things increasingly attracts ambitious newcomers who are looking for a fresh approach. That’s good for us and even better news for our clients.”

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