How to get government support as an on-demand driver

How to get self employment support as an uber driver
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Self-employed workers, including on-demand drivers like yourself, are particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak’s economic impact. The government has introduced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, aka. SEISS – a grant you can use if you’ve lost income due to the epidemic as a self-employed worker or as a member of a partnership.

This scheme allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for March, April and May, and the recently announced second grant extends the scheme into June, July and August to allow a large number of sole traders to come out of the crisis relatively unscathed.

This guide has all the information you need as a rideshare driver to access the support scheme. Shout out to our tax specialist partner GoSimpleTax for helping us get the facts straight so we can deliver useful content and get your career into gear.

The information in this guide has been gathered from online government sources and it’s subject to change as the situation evolves. Check with the HMRC for any updates.

Am I eligible for the self-employed support scheme?

Self-employed support scheme requirements

You can apply for the British Government’s COVID-19 self-employed support scheme if:

  • Your self-employed trading profits are less than £50,000 and amount for more than half of your total income*
  • You’ve submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the 2018-19 tax year
  • You traded in 2019-20 tax year and want to continue trading in 2020-21
  • You’re trading when you apply, or would be if it wasn’t for COVID-19
  • You’ve lost trading profits due to COVID-19
  • You’ve submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the 2018-19 tax year

*This can be calculated as the three-year average for the 2016-19 period, or solely for the 2018-19 tax year. If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

The deadline for submitting your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for 2018-19 was April 23rd 2020.

How much support can I get?

First grant (March – May)

The first grant for the March-May period will cover 80% of your average profit – much like employee furlough. However, the grant is capped at £2,500/month, and it’s taxable, so you must declare it on your Self Assessment tax return). You’ll get the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

The application deadline for the March-May grant was July 13th 2020.

Second grant (June-August)

From June to August, this percentage dropped to 70% and it’s capped at £6,570 total.

Applications for this second grant have opened on August 17th with a deadline on October 19th, but you must confirm that your business has been adversely affected by COVID-19 after July 14th 2020.

Can I claim the grant if I’m still driving?

Yes. You’re eligible for the self-employment support if you’ve lost profits because of the epidemic or the consequences of the lockdown, as long as as you want to keep trading in the 2020/21 tax year, and your average self-employed trading profit amounts for more than half of your total income (not exceeding £50,000 per year). You can even take up other employment if necessary, provided that the SEISS payments still cover the majority of your income.

How to apply for the self-employed support scheme?

You cannot apply yet, but HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible, once they officially introduce the scheme.

In other words, you only have to submit your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 by 23 April. Once your paperwork is up to date and HMRC processes your data, they will reach out and invite you to apply online.

Important: scammers are abusing the current situation and the vulnerability of the self-employed, so be careful who you share your banking or personal information with. This grant will only be available through gov.uk

How and when will I get the money?

Once you’ve applied, HMRC will contact you again to tell you the exact sum you’re eligible for as well as the expected payment date.

Does this income affect my Universal Credit?

Yes, if you claim Universal Credit, you’ll need to mention the grant you receive through this scheme as income.

Special thanks to GoSimpleTax for their expert advice in creating this article. Check out their Self Assessment tax return calculator where you can track your tax liability in real-time and log your expenses on the go.

As a Splend member, you can use the app for 30% less. Just click the link above, start a free trial by filling in the form and use the unique code they send you to activate your discount.

Other support options

Splend support

 Top up your income with parcel and food deliveries

A word on health and safety

The safety of our members and staff remains our number one priority. We’re working tirelessly to align our operations with the Government’s restrictions and advice, so we can protect each other, assume social responsibility, and do our part in easing the pressure on the healthcare system.

Take a moment to read our safety guide:

About Splend

Splend is more than a set of wheels. We’ll help steer your career.

In addition to providing you with the most important tool in your career as a rideshare driver, we also offer ongoing training, support, and data-driven feedback via your dedicated Member Success Representative. You also enjoy a growing array of member benefits including discounts from our partners.

For more information about Splend, drop by our Member Support Centre at 393 Edgware Road Cricklewood, Londonemail us, or say hello on 0333 016 4331

AUTHOR

Balazs Szekely

Maker by nature, writer by profession, and a petrolhead at heart, Balazs is our very own content creator who brings Splend’s voice to life. He’s been a wordsmith his entire career, having seen it all from the print media to radio through online publishing and marketing copywriting. He’s fascinated by things he has yet to fully understand such as photography, ice hockey, and the bizarre art of aquascaping. In his free time you may find him mixing up cocktails for his friends or away from home on a city break. Drop him a line at balazs.szekely@splend.com

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