Help for the self-employed
If you are self-employed you can still claim the same benefits and tax credits as employed people, providing you meet the conditions of entitlement for each benefit. You can claim all of the following benefits
- Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit including help with childcare costs
- Maternity Allowance (you must have paid enough class 2 National Insurance (NI) contributions and must have worked at least 26 of the 66 weeks before the week your baby is due)
- Housing Benefit if you rent your property
- Council Tax Reduction
- Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) if you stop trading
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based) if you become sick From the 24 September 2018 Universal credit will replace Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Income Support.
If you are self-employed or run a small business and are having financial difficulties it is important to get the right advice as quickly as you can. If your business is getting into serious debt you may need to consider whether to continue trading. You should draw up a business plan to help you decide if your business is still viable. This should include all the assets of the business such as equipment, the likely income to the business and all the business expenditure.
There are organisations that provide free specialist advice for the self-employed and those running a small business.
Business Debtline can advise on the following matters:
- cash flow issues
- negotiating with creditors
- bankruptcy and repossession
Tax Aid is a charity that provides free independent advice for people on a low income who cannot afford a tax advisor. They can help with the following:
- tax debts
- tax allowances
- tax returns
- tax arrears
- tax codes
Other help is available from Business Link (England)
HMRC can provide business support for those having difficulty meeting tax and NI contributions.
Telephone them on 0300 200 3300