What happens if I'm self-employed?

Information requirements for self-employed claimants

If you have recently started trading on a self-employed basis, we need an estimate of your likely income and expenses for the business since you started trading. This will help us to pay your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support sooner rather than having to wait until you have been trading for a few months.

If you do not have prepared accounts, or you have been trading for less than 12 months, please complete a self-employed certificate of earnings form.

If you have been trading for over 12 months, please send us your most recent profit and loss accounts.

Please do not send us any receipts unless we have asked for them.

What is your total income for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes?

You need to provide details of all the income of the business as well as any other money coming into your household. This includes interest from business bank accounts, tips, commission and royalties.

Which expenses are then taken off this income?

You must provide details of all of your expenses. Only expenses that are 'wholly and exclusively' incurred in relation to the business can be allowed for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes.

Please note that the rules about expenses allowed for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes are different to those for Income Tax purposes. For example, depreciation and business entertainment expenses are not taken into account in the assessment of your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support.

Self-employed childminders

If you are a childminder, you do not need to tell us about your expenses. This is because childminders are treated differently; instead of taking off your actual expenses, we work out a third of your total income and we treat it as your 'business income' for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes.

Business partnerships

If you are employed in a partnership, the pre-tax profit for the business (gross income minus expenses) is divided equally between the number of partners. If there is a formal agreement in the partnership which governs that profit should be treated differently, then this will take priority.

Tax and National Insurance

After the net profit of the business is worked out we will make an assessment of Income Tax and National Insurance contributions. These figures may differ from the figures worked out by HM Revenue and Customs.

Private pensions

Please supply proof of any contributions you may make into a personal or private pension. Half of any contribution that you make will not be counted as part of your income for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes.

Apply for Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support

Report a change in circumstances to an existing Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre

Telephone: 024 7683 1800