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COVID-19: Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)- Resilience Budget 2020
UPDATED (18th April 2020): Check for your eligibility here at the pre-launch site https://www.ntuc.com.sg/sirs. Applications and appeals are NOT open at the moment. Details will be announced soon.
When the Resilience Budget was announced three days ago, one of the schemes that has caught many attention is the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS), where S$1.2 billion is set aside to support self-employed individuals in terms of cash payout. Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stated that about 88,000 individuals who are self-employed will automatically qualify for the scheme. Others may apply for the scheme once the application is open.
So who is eligible to receive $1,000 a month for the next 9 months?
According to IRAS, you are self-employed when you perform work for others (e.g. provide a service) under a contract for service. You work for yourself and you are in the position to realise a business profit or loss. Your income is derived from tbuying and selling of goods, or from providing professional or personal services.
A self-employed may also be a sole-proprietor or a partner in a partnership. However, if the partner is engaged under an employment contract with the partnership, he is considered an employee even though he has the title of a ‘partner’, hence he will not qualify for the income relief scheme.
Here are some examples of self-employed persons (SEP):
- Commission agent (e.g. insurance agent, real estate agent)
- Direct seller
- Freelancer (e.g. you receive fees for providing services as a delivery rider, consultant, book keeper, graphic designer)
- Hawker (you are the owner of a hawker business or a food stall)
- Owner of a business that buys and sells goods and/ or services
- Owner of an online business (i.e. you buy and sell goods or provide services through the Internet)
- Owner of your own practice (e.g. accountant, architect, doctor, lawyer)
- Taxi driver / Private-hire car driver
- Private tuition teacher (you look for your own students by yourself or through agencies and do not receive a salary from a tuition centre)
Under the income relief scheme, cash payout will be made on quarterly basis - $3,000 each in May, July and October this year. To receive this payout, a self-employed person must meet all of the following:
For SEPs who are married, the additional criteria apply too:
- The individual and spouse together do not own two or more properties
- The Assessable Income of his/her spouse does not exceed $70,000
For SEPs who are aged 37 and above in 2020, and have declared a positive SEP income to IRAS or CPF for the work year 2018, this group of people will be automatically notified of their eligibility via letter or SMS.
More details on SIRS and the application process will be released at a later date by MOM. (Likely 20th April 2020)
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