HMRC have now issued further guidance on how to access the self-employed grant, which has been introduced as a result of COVID-19.

A reminder of eligibility
You will be eligible to claim the grant if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and:

  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021

HMRC will firstly look at the profits shown on the submitted 2018/19 tax return to determine whether an individual is eligible. To be eligible, profits must be under £50,000 and must represent at least half of the individual’s taxable income.

Check if you are eligible
You or your tax adviser can check whether you are eligible for the grant by going to the HMRC online eligibility tool found here.

You will need to enter your unique taxpayer reference (UTR) which is your 10 digit reference used to file your self-assessment tax returns, and your National Insurance number. If you are eligible to claim the grant, you will receive the following message:

You will be able to claim from 8am on [22] May 2020. To get ready, you need to add your contact details. We will use these to tell you when to claim and what you need to do beforehand”.

[Please note that the date of eligibility will vary from claimant to claimant.]

In order to undertake this next step you will need to have a Government Gateway account to allow you to sign in and add your contact details. If you do not already have a Government Gateway account, you can create one very easily. The steps are:

  • Go to
  • Click the Green “Sign In” button
  • Click “Create sign in details”
  • Enter your email address where asked
  • You will now be sent a confirmation code to this email address in order to confirm the email. Once confirmed you can start to enter personal details to establish your Government Gateway account.
  • You will be issued with a user ID for your Government Gateway account which will be used going forward

Your tax agent is not going to be able to make the claim on your behalf, so it is vital that all of the mechanics are in place to enable you to submit the claim as soon as it is open to you. Once you have submitted the claim you will be told straightaway if the grant is approved. HMRC will pay the grant into your bank account within 6 working days. The grant will be 80% of your average monthly trading profits paid out in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500. This sum will be subject to tax and National Insurance in your 2020/21 tax return. You should therefore keep copies of all records pertaining to the grant.

If you are unable to claim online, an alternative method will be available. HMRC has confirmed they will issue details of this alternative claim route in due course.

Scottish Government help for newly self employed
If you are not eligible for the self-employed grant because you have not yet submitted a tax return, but have been self-employed since April 2019 you can still access an additional grant from the Scottish Government, click here to find out more information and check if you are eligible.

If you would like to discuss the support available, or have any other queries, please get in touch with your usual Campbell Dallas contact.


The information in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding in May 2020. Laws and tax rules may change in the future.