It certainly feels like a generous package for some and we’re grateful to the Chancellor for a fast response. However, there are some big holes in the plan.
There are millions who cannot wait until June to receive support. They are struggling today to pay bills, mortgages and buy food. We will be writing another letter to the Treasury committee to push for this to be changed.
Those that operate a Limited Company are not being given fair support. Many self-employed people do this because it’s the only choice given to them by their clients.
By only relying on 3 years of Self-Assessments up to 5th April 2019, those who became self-employed more recently may only have partial earnings to go on or could be missed entirely, and those who are eligible for the funding could be looking at out-of-date earnings.
Despite the chancellor saying “there’s nothing we can do” for those who have been self-employed for one year or less, we believe they can help them by accepting their 2019/20 tax returns, which can be submitted from 6th April, to calculate their average trading profits. We have the technology to support the fast creation of Self-Assessments, and we’re working to make it more widely available now.
We will lobby the government to encourage them to allow self-employed people to submit their 2019/20 Self-Assessment when the window opens on the 6th April and use this up-to-date data for consideration in their application for support, increasing the number of self-employed people that are eligible.
To help make this happen, we are launching a free-to-use web tool on 6 April, built on our existing accounting and tax technology. This will be made available to everyone, regardless of whether you are a Coconut customer or not, and users will be able to connect their existing bank account from 20 major UK banks and within minutes your transaction data will be analysed and categorised for tax giving a clear and simple overview of total income and total allowable expenses, ready to submit to HMRC.
We can't make any guarantees that the government will accept this, but we want to be ready if they do so we're going ahead. We're going to keep fighting to get this accepted.
To hear more on this as it develops, as well as more information on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, including details on how to apply, as the government releases more information, sign up for updates.
We're on a mission to make self-employment easier than being employed. To do that, they’ve crafted an intelligent financial companion. With expenses, invoicing and tax all in one, Coconut is the ultimate accounting and tax tool for self-employed people.
Self-employment and entrepreneurship is the biggest shift in the way we work for a generation, and we’re building Coconut to enable this economy to boom.