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Chancellor unveils help for self-employed workers

On the 26 March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a scheme to help self-employed workers who have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the scheme the government will pay self-employed people a taxable grant based on an average of their earnings over the past three years.

The grant will cover up to 80% of earnings up to a limit of £2,500 a month.

To be eligible self-employed workers must have filed a tax return for the 2018/19 tax year and have average trading profits under £50,000 for the past three years.

Directors of their own companies who are paid through PAYE may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The self-employed scheme will be available from June this year and run for three months but may be extended if necessary. In the meantime the Chancellor said people can access Universal Credit, business loans or keep on working.

HMRC will contact self-employed workers if eligible for the scheme and invite them to apply online.

Detailed guidance about the grants can be found here.