24.8.2021 | Tax

Pandemic's toll on self-employed

New survey reveals 2 out of 5 Freelance Sector Lost Over 40% of Turnover. 

The data, collected by the Association of Independent Professionals and Self-Employed (IPSE), also showed that two out of three freelance businesses suffered a financial hit.

Freelancers and the self-employed have been hit harder than most over the last 18 months, finding it more difficult to apply for vital public funds to get them through tough times.

Here Nick Marshall, Director at Beatons Group, takes a look at the self-employed sector and how to apply for the fifth and final grant on offer.

The impact
The survey from IPSE is a stark reminder of the financial toll the pandemic has had on some sectors.

The self-employed sector, which contributed more than £300billion a year to the UK economy before the pandemic, has suffered greatly through the pandemic.

Data reveals almost two-thirds of freelancers over the age of 35 saw a decrease in turnover, with half of those under 35 suffering a financial hit too.

Emergency funds
To add insult to injury, the self-employed have often found it more difficult to secure COVID-19 funding throughout the pandemic.

While it has been a relatively easy process to go on furlough for most people paid through PAYE, there have been many more hoops to jump through for the self-employed.

Many people who became self-employed before the pandemic struck found that they were unable to make a claim, as they were required to have filed Self-Assessment Tax forms in 2018/19.

And even if they fit the requirements for a grant, it has been a relatively complicated process to apply for the money compared to other available government funding.

The final self-employed grant
More financial help is on the way; however, with the fifth and final grant for the self-employed, the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), now open for applications.

The grant is worth up to £7,500 and applies to self-employed workers who reasonably believe there is a ‘significant reduction’ in profits due to reduced demand, activity or capacity or that they were unable to trade due to covid 19 in the period 15th May 2021 to 30th September 2021.

If turnover fell by 30% or more, they can claim the full grant, worth 80% of three months average trading profits up to £7,500 – under 30%, they receive 30% of three months average trading profits up to £2,850.

The deadline to make a claim is 30 September 2021 and can be made using a Government Gateway account here.

For more on Beatons Group, visit beatons.co.uk or call 1473 659777.

Pandemic takes toll