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
The UK Government is extending the Self-employment Income Support Scheme for 6 months until April 2021. If you have been self-employed from before April 2019 you will be eligible for two further taxable grants. The first of these will cover from 1st November to 31st January 2021, this will be worth 80% of average monthly trading profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. You can find further information here.
Self-Employed For Less Than A Year
If you have been self-employed for less than a year the Government advice is to apply for Universal Credit and ESA, where the minimum income floor has been relaxed, for those who have to self-isolate due to the virus ESA will be available from day one of self-isolation. Read more 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.