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Martin Lewis: A glimmer of hope for excluded new-starter self-employed

MSE_Eesha MSE Staff Posts: 161
Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped! Newshound!
MSE Staff
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • Sharononline
    Sharononline Forumite Posts: 6
    Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I work for a benevolent fund and can confirm we have had applicants who fallen through the net. This feels like a little too late, even if it comes to fruition.
  • jazz20
    jazz20 Forumite Posts: 2
    First Post
    Please help - as I’m sure I’ve wrongly fallen through the cracks despite appealing to HMRC... 2017-18 most of my earnings were through employment, from Nov 17 through self-employment (so less than 50% of my overall earnings for 17/18 came from self-employment). 2017-18 self-assessment profit was virtually nothing due to business start-up costs. 2018-19 was a ‘true’ year of full profits, all from self-employment. SEISS grants received so far were based on my 18-19 full year, but also my 17-18 ‘part’ year, despite earning less than 50% from self-employment that year. In short, the 17-18 ‘profit’ taken from 5 months of trading, averaged out across 12 months, massively pulled down my SEISS grant, by more than half in fact. Surely this isn’t right?? 
  • IanMcL
    IanMcL Forumite Posts: 8
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    The problem for a newly self employed person, is that having left employment, the set up costs are used to create a tax loss, in order to reclaim previously paid tax. This sets the business on a positive footing, going forward.

    As these Gov payments depend on 'profits', many self employed people must be missing out, totally.
  • LJMD
    LJMD Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    The government insists on historic records to calculate the self employment grant, so if newly self employed since April 2019, you have no history, therefore can’t access the grant, EXCEPT if you were employed and PAYE prior to self employment you do have a tax history, why can’t this be taken into account to calculate a grant for newly self employed?
  • kakak27
    kakak27 Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    Hi there, I am looking for clarification on whether I should apply for the third SEISS grant (I was eligible for and received the first and second grant, and have been invited by HMRC to apply for the third grant). 
    Prior to COVID I received 100% of my income from self employment, then in about March my income significantly reduced to almost nothing as my job required meeting my customers in person. My self employment work has started to pick up again but as I can no longer live off my self employment income I started other work. Last month, October, I started employment in a full time role for the first time and now around 60/65% of my income is from that employer via PAYE. Does the 'at least 50% of your earnings must be from self employment' requirement still have to be true now or is it acceptable to still apply for the grant on the basis that I was eligible for the first two grants? Thanks so much for any advice.
  • penguineater
    penguineater Forumite Posts: 125
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    It makes me very bitter being refused every single grant out there because I started my business in Feb 2019 and my short 2 month tax return obviously didn't earn me enough profit - so I get zero help from the government.

    I look at people getting this free money even though they are going to work as usual, double the income - amazing.

    And with me being a sole trader that does not have a business premises I was also not eligible for that grant.

    You can bet your mother that the tax man will gladly collect what I owe this tax year. Disgraceful.
  • hilaryfur
    hilaryfur Forumite Posts: 17
    10 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper

    I have been self-employed for many years and also receive a state pension and so I am not eligible for Universal Credit. In the 2018/19 year, my self employed income was just £4 less than my other income i.e. 49.9% not 50% as required. Missed it by a hair's breadth! In the 2019/20 year my self employed income was 57% more than my other income. I appealed to HMRC and was turned down. Surely there should be some mechanism for looking at individual cases? This is so unfair that only historical info is considered and not the latest tax year as well.

  • MLP94
    MLP94 Forumite Posts: 2
    First Post
    Is it likely the fourth grant will be based on 17/18 18/19 and 19/20 rather than including 16/17? 
  • alpaco47
    alpaco47 Forumite Posts: 20
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have been self employed for 30 years in the antiques business, depending on antique fairs for my income. Last year I was only able to do 3 fairs in the UK, and as very few Europeans (my main customers) attended, my takings were minimal. My problem is that I currently fall outside all of the government schemes as, although I pay PAYE on my pension, more than 50% of my earnings comes via my pensions. I also have savings, which I am using to live on. These also exclude me from any Social Benefits. Am I missing something here?
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