If you’re self-employed and want to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction we need to look at your income and expenses from your self-employment and any other income or capital you or your partner have. 

The income we use in our assessment is your net weekly profit. 

Your net weekly profit is your total income minus any business expenses which are allowed for benefit purposes. These may be different from the expenses given on your account. 

Then we minus the relevant tax, national insurance and half of any pension contributions. 

The income used for benefit purposes may not always be the same as the figure on your accounts or from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). 

You can find out more about expenses if you’re self-employed on 


Income for childminders is assessed in a specific way. We do not need to see proof of your expenses. We work out the net profit by subtracting tax, national insurance contributions and half of your pension contributions from one-third of your gross income. 

Evidence you'll need to provide

You need to provide your business income and expenditure for the last years trading, or since the business started if this is less than a year.

We may need extra evidence like receipts for expenses and invoices, if so, we will contact you and ask for this. 

Tell us your business income and expenditure

Changes to your business

Income from self-employment is normally reassessed annually and used in our assessment for the following year. 

For example, if we looked at your accounts for the financial year 2019 to 2020, we would use this income in our benefit assessment for the financial year 2020 to 2021. 

However, if your self-employment has had a large change then we may want to re-assess your entitlement within a financial year. 

You must tell us about changes in your self-employment. 

The sorts of changes you must tell us about include changes which have an impact on the income of your business. Things like: 

  • the loss or gain of a major customer 

  • a significant upturn or downturn in business 

  • a change in the nature of the business 

Tell us about a change

We’ll write to you explaining what evidence is needed if you have had a change in your self-employment