Martin Lewis coronavirus: Money expert explains what Self Employed Income Support means

Martin Lewis, who is the founder of Money Saving Expert, is very well-known for sharing his money saving tips and financial expertise. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the financial journalist has been on hand to answer queries from members of the public who have been affected financially by the virus outbreak.

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Tonight, Mr Lewis addressed a whole host of topics relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

This included speaking about the emergency measures of those in self employment who have been adversely affected by coronavirus.

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It came just hours after Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the actions which the government will be taken for these people, during the daily briefing at Downing Street.

Mr Sunak said: “To support those who work for themselves, today I am announcing a new self employed income support scheme.”

This evening, Mr Lewis told ITV viewers about what this scheme means for the self employed.

It came as he was asked by a self employed driving instructor what the support meant.

The scheme is called the Self Employed Income Support scheme, and it offers those adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic a taxable grant of up to 80 percent of their average monthly income over the past three years – up to £2,500.

“The profits are averaged over three years. That’s up to the 2019 tax year – the one that ended in 2019,” Mr Lewis said tonight.

“If your profits are over £50,000 on average – even £50,000 and a penny – you don’t get anything. It’s a cliffhanger.

“You can still keep working during this.” Referring to the caller, he added: “Clearly driving instructors won’t be during this period because they’re next to each other in cars. But, if you’re in a job where you can, you can get this grant and still keep working – unlike the employee scheme where you’re not able to do so.

“It’s paid as a lump sum in June, but it’ll be backdated for three months. So, effectively, you’ll get March, April and May’s money in June as a lump sum.”

Today, the Chancellor explained that the grant would be available from June this year, and could be backdated to March.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme: Who can apply?

Guiidance on the new scheme is now avialable on the government website.

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It explains that a person can apply if they’re a self employed individual, or a member of a partnership, and the following apply:

They have have submitted their Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19

  • Traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • Are trading when they 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.

Another criteria is that the applicant’s self employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000.

Additonally, more than half of their income must come from self-employment.

The government guidance adds: “This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period.”

The Martin Lewis Money Show – A Coronavirus Special will be available to watch on the ITV Hub.

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