If you are likely to struggle with tax payments due to the epidemic HMRC is offering help and support for the self-employed, they can be contacted on 0800 0159 559 (8.00 – 20.00 Mon – Fri, 8.00 – 16.00 Sat, closed Bank Holidays). Read more here.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you are self-employed and earn under £50,000 you may be able to claim a SEISS grant of up to £7,500 or 80% of your average monthly profits (whichever if lower) if your business has been adversely affected by COVID-19. Your self-employed trading income must exceed other income, and you must have traded in the last 2 years, assessment will be based on the 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment tax return in the first instance.
A SEISS grant will be available from April, and fifth grant will be available to cover the period May – September, this will be available to claim from late July. The fifth grant will be worth the full rate for those with turnover reduction of 30% or more. Those who have had a turnover reduction less than that will be eligible for a grant of 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850. If you have submitted a you will be eligible for the fourth and fifth grants. You can find more info here.
Devolved Hardship Funds
The Northern Ireland Executive Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme is open to eligible self-employed workers until February 5th and is a taxable grant of up to £3,500, you can find more information here.
The Scottish Government Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers runs from 2 pm 2nd March to 2 pm 22nd March and will provide grants of up to £2,000 to applicants, you can find more details and information on how to apply here.
Third Sector Support
Third sector organisations are working to help support musicians at this time, Help Musicians can provide financial assistance for health interventions and signposting for debt/welfare related issues, their Health and Wellbeing team can be reached email@example.com, telephone: 0207 239 9103. They cannot provide direct replacement of lost earnings, National Insurance or Income, Inheritance or Capital Gains Tax Bills or Legal Advice. For immediate Mental Health Support you can contact their team on MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk or 0808 802 8008. Read more here.
The Musicians’ Union is advising that the current outbreak is likely to be a force majeure trigger for contracts, if you are a Musician Union (MU) member and you are concerned about your individual contracts you are advised to contact your MU regional office for further advice, this can be found here. Read more here.
On musicians in theatres, the current advice from the MU is, if a producer/theatre chose to close the contract with you should stand, if they waited until the Government order to close theatres, they do not have to pay but a producer’s insurance may cover wages, though this will vary individually. The MU’s website has further advice on this and music teaching etc, this can be accessed here.
The Government has announced mortgage lenders have agreed to support customers experiencing personal financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus, including through payment holidays, among other options. This approach will also be adopted where necessary for Help to Buy customers paying interest on their Equity Loans.