07 Jan 2021

Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme Extended

Economy Minister Diane Dodds today announced an amendment to the criteria for the Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme (NSESS) and an extension to the closing date.

The NSESS which opened on 3 December, has now been extended to Friday 5 February to allow applicants the opportunity to include evidence from their 2019/20 HMRC tax return.  

The NSESS provides financial support to newly self-employed individuals (sole traders and those in partnerships) whose business has been adversely impacted by Covid and who have not been able to access support from the UK government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The scheme is administered by Invest Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy.

Who is eligible?

NSESS is open to sole traders or individual members of a partnership business operating in Northern Ireland.

You must be able to demonstrate that you (as the individual) meet the following criteria:

  • You have commenced trading as self-employed between 6 April 2019 and 5 April 2020.
  • You have been trading at 1 March 2020 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • You have either been temporarily unable to trade or are currently trading but impacted by reduced demand, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Over 50% of your income in 2019/20 was from self-employment. If you moved from paid employment (PAYE) to self-employment during 2019/20, you do not need to take into account the income from the paid employment when calculating this percentage. However, you will need to submit your P45 from your previous employer as evidence to support this.
  • Your 2019/20 trading profits were less than £50,000. In the case of a partnership business, this refers to your share of the trading profits as outlined on your individual tax return.
  • You have experienced at least a 40% decline in trading profits between 1 March and 30 November 2020, i.e. your trading profits over this period are at least 40% lower than they would have been in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • You are able to provide the following:
    • 10-digit HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) linked to Schedule D earnings from any trade or profession.
    • HMRC VAT Registration Number, if you are VAT registered.
  • You intend to continue to trade as a sole trader or individual member of the partnership.

Who cannot apply?

A sole trader or individual member of a partnership business is not eligible for NSESS if:

Further information about this scheme is available in the Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme Guidance Notes (PDF, 450K).

This scheme will close to applications at 6pm on Friday 5 February 2021.

For more information, visit NIBusinessInfo.co.uk