A consortium made up of various professional bodies has teamed up to call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide some form of COVID-19 assistance for self-employed company directors.
Up until now, those in this position have been denied the support offered to other self-employed people to help them through the current crisis, such as the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants. Now, a group of experts, trade associations and other business groups is suggesting that the government could create a “Directors Income Support Scheme” (DISS) that would consist of targeted grants similar to the SEISS ones.
The SEISS grants enable those eligible to claim financial support totalling a maximum of £2,500 a month, but those classified as directors of self-employed businesses do not qualify. The Treasury has been resistant to previous calls to help these people, who are paid via dividends, arguing that differentiating between income from shares or property and income from the actual business would be very difficult.
However, the consortium has written to Sunak stating that DISS grants could be calculated using the information about income and trading profits that self-employed directors submit to Companies House each year and is in their tax returns. The letter goes on to point out that the estimated £6 billion maximum cost to the Treasury would be less than that of the SEISS scheme.
Accountants who deal with tax return services in South Yorkshire and other parts of the country could help self-employed directors put together the information they need for such a scheme.