Working for yourself (self-employed) in the UK

The list of those who received an

ECAA (permission for self-employment) visa

this month is here!

Contact your advisor for details.


 

If you work for yourself in the UK, or set up your own business in the UK, you are ‘self-employed’. You must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as self-employed and pay your own tax and National Insurance.

On this page:

  • Registering as self-employed
  • How to pay tax and National Insurance
  • VAT
  • Leaving the UK

Registering as self-employed

To register as self-employed, you must have a National Insurance number. If you have one already, call the Newly Self-Employed Helpline on Tel 0845 915 4515. They will register you for Self Assessment tax. Lines are open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday, and 8.00 am to 4.00 pm on Saturday. They are closed on bank holidays.

Or you can fill in form CWF1 Becoming self-employed and registering for National Insurance contributions and/or tax. You can get this form online by following the link below.

If you do not have a National Insurance number, please contact the Department for Work and Pensions on Tel 0845 6000643. They will help you arrange an ‘Evidence of Identity interview’ with a Jobcentre Plus Office. Without a valid National Insurance number, HMRC will not be able to provide you with a Unique Tax Reference or set up your National Insurance account.

Get form CWF1 Becoming self-employed and registering for National Insurance contributions and/or tax

How to pay tax and National Insurance

If you work for yourself you pay Income Tax by filling in a form called a Self Assessment tax return once a year to tell us what you have earned.

You usually pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions to HMRC directly and Class 4 National Insurance contributions through Self Assessment by completing your tax return.

National Insurance – find out more about Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions from the Directgov website

There are different types of tax return forms. If you are self-employed you always complete:

  • the main tax return forms SA100 and SA101
  • the self-employment pages SA103S or SA103F (which one you complete depends on how much money you earn)

You may also have to fill in some other pages, depending on your situation. HMRC uses the information on your tax return to work out your tax bill, or you can work it out yourself.

It is very important to keep records of what you have earned and what you have spent. HMRC might ask to see these records.

The easiest way to fill out a tax return is online because your tax is worked out for you automatically. You can find out more about Self Assessment and the benefits of completing your tax return online by following the links below.

Find out more about tax returns if you’re self-employed

File your tax return online – more about the benefits and how to register

Or you can phone the Self Assessment Helpline on Tel 0845 900 0444. Lines are open from 8.00 am to 8.00 Monday to Friday, and 8.00 am to 4.00 pm on Saturday. They are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

VAT

VAT is a tax charged on goods and some services imported into the UK. This tax is paid to HMRC.

If you are self-employed and you earn above a certain amount during the tax year (6 April to 5 April) you have to register for VAT.

You can also choose to register for VAT even if your self-employment income is low.

If you register for VAT you can also get back any VAT you pay on goods or services you buy for your business.

You can find out more about VAT, and how to register, by following the link below.

VAT – how it works, the different rates, who needs to be registered and links to further information

Or you can phone the National Advice Service Helpline on Tel 0845 010 9000 (+ 44 292 050 1261 from outside the UK). Lines are open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Leaving the UK

If you’re leaving the UK you must tell HMRC by contacting your Tax Office.

Your Tax Office will give you form P85 to get any tax refund you’re owed and work out if you’ll become non-resident. If you still need to complete a tax return after you leave they’ll let you know.

 

 

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