How to handle taxes if you are self-employed

Navigating taxes can be challenging if you are self-employed, but understanding the key aspects is crucial in ensuring you get things right.

In this guide, we’ll cover registering as self-employed, National Insurance contributions (NICs), self-assessment tax returns, record-keeping, and VAT registration.

Registering as self-employed

Register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for Self-Assessment and Class 2 National Insurance as soon as possible after starting your self-employed venture, but no later than 5 October in your business’s second tax year.

You are required to register as a self-employed ‘sole trader’ if your earnings exceeded £1,000 before tax deductions in the previous tax year.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

Self-employed individuals must pay NICs to qualify for state benefits, including the State Pension.

The amount you pay depends on your employment status and income level.

Self-employed individuals pay Class 2 and/or Class 4 contributions.

Self-assessment tax returns

Complete a self-assessment tax return each year, declaring your income and expenses.

You just submit online by 31 January following the end of the tax year or by 31 October for paper submissions.

Record keeping

Maintain accurate records of your income, expenses, and any relevant receipts or invoices.

Record-keeping ensures that you can claim all allowable expenses to minimise your tax liability.

Allowable expenses

Deduct certain business expenses from your taxable income, such as office costs, travel costs, clothing expenses, staff costs, and financial costs.

VAT Registration

Register for VAT if your self-employed business’s taxable turnover exceeds the VAT threshold of £85,000.

Once registered, you must charge VAT on sales and submit VAT returns quarterly to HMRC digitally.

Understanding self-employment taxes is essential for managing your responsibilities effectively.

If you need advice, we offer professional guidance on tax for those who are self-employed or business owners.

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