Date Published: April 2020
Astrid Collier has very kindly put together some practical financial tips you can implement during Covid-19. These are tips for those who are self-employed, own small businesses or may be at a loss of who to contact and what they can do next. Astrid is a financial coach. She helps people create a better relationship with money, learn and build confidence around everyday products. She wants to empower people to feel in control of their personal finances.
I understand I have written a lot of information below and made subsections and all this may be too daunting, I do appreciate that.
My basic advise is contact everyone that you have some debt with and ask for help. Until you try to find help you don’t know what the response will be. The Martin Lewis video is very helpful so you can listen to that advice.
I can help with form filling on a Zoom or phone call, don’t be put off by the thought of some administration.
This is a good, honest and fairly understandable resource from Money Saving Expert.
Wath the video below in where Martin Lewis explains coronavirus income support for self-employed people.
I would urge any individual to:
1. Contact their ‘mortgage lender’, ‘credit card company’, ‘bank’ where they have their overdraft.
2. To see what is advised on the website and in some cases you can still talk on the phone.
Initially, it is a case of identifying the extent of the problems you can see and what that individual company will offer to do for you.
As for being self employed, the government has put plans in place however I am fully aware that not everybody fits the criteria, it is complicated, but for those who have an accountant, please ask their advise initially, as they already will know the history for that particular company.
1. Self Employed
Action: What type of self employed are you? If you have used an accountant in the past, can you check with your accountant to see what they advise?
- The grants are worth up to 80% of your profits. This is capped at £2,500 a month and is taxable. As it’s a grant, it means you don’t have to pay it back.
Grants are decided on your profits over the last three years.
- You must have filed a tax return for 2018/19. This means you must have been self-employed prior to 6 April 2019. If you were due to file a 2018/19 tax return but missed the deadline this year, you’ll have until Thursday 23 April to submit your tax return and then you can still access the scheme.
- However, if you only have a few months’ self-employment on your 2018/19 return, this will be counted as your total profit for the year – the Government won’t pro-rata it based on your monthly profits.
- You must earn more than 50% of your total income from self-employment. This must have been the case for either your 2018/19 tax return or, if not, the average of your 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax returns.
- Your average trading profit must be less than £50,000/year. This is essentially a ‘cliff-edge’ requirement – so those whose average annual trading profit is £50,000 or more won’t be able to get any support from this scheme.
For both these requirements, the Government says it will first check your 2018/19 tax return – if you met the requirements that year, you’ll be eligible.
However, if you earned more than £50,000 (or earned less than half of your income from self-employment) in 2018/19, the Government will then check your 2016/17 and 2017/18 tax returns, if you filed them for those years.
If on average over the three years you earned less than £50,000 and made more than half your income from self-employment, you’ll still be eligible.
- This scheme’s expected to start paying out in June. Payments will likely be backdated to cover March, April and May (in the form of a lump sum). The scheme will operate across the UK and is set to last for at least three months, though this could be extended.
- Unlike the employee scheme, here you CAN keep working. You also do not need to prove coronavirus impact – all who qualify get it.
2. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL)
Again a lot of content here, I would have to talk through it, if this was a considered route. There are many “pros and cons” by going down this route. Talking to your Business Bank is an option here, to see what they are specifically offering small businesses.
3. Overdraft Debt
Action: Please contact your bank at the earliest opportunity to discuss this overdraft and what help they will offer you.
Again a lot of content here, I would have to talk through it, if this was a considered route. There are many “pro’s and con’s” by going down this route. Talking to your Business Bank is an option here, to see what they are specifically offering small businesses.
The banks are being ordered to take new steps to help customers hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic, with those struggling to be offered up to £500 interest-free overdrafts. The FCA also says no one should pay more due to the interest-rate changes. It’s likely these measures will come in from Thursday 9 April. For more, read our ‘Unprecedented help
4. Credit Card Debit
‘Unprecedented’ help for those struggling to repay cards and loans due to coronavirus – three-month payment holidays to become standard.
The banks are being ordered to take new steps to help customers hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic, with those struggling to be offered three-month payment holidays on credit and store cards, loans, secured loans and catalogue debt. It’s likely these measures will come in from Thursday 9 April. For more, read our ‘Unprecedented help planned on cards and loans’ MSE News story.
About the Author
Over 25 years I enjoyed a full and varied career in the City of London working across a range of Investment Banks. During my latter years in the City, I completed a coaching course and worked with MOE who teach personal leadership tools and coaching methods.
Last year I trained with Simonne Gnessen and began working as a ‘Financial Coach’, I found this perfectly combined my financial and coaching skills.
As a Financial Coach, I can help people create a better relationship with money, learn and build confidence around everyday products, and help empower people to feel in control around their personal finances.