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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Hello there, Late June last year, around the time of my

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Hello there,

Late June last year, around the time of my graduation from uni, I was recommended by my tutor to do some Illustration work for a small company. I am now realising that I have been quite stupid and have failed to declare myself as self employed. I want to get it all in order now, but although my earnings were significantly under my personal allowance I am a bit worried about possible fines I could be facing, as I am now quite late.

The details:

I had a part time job at Debenhams for the earlier part of the tax year but only earned £405.88. I made £5590 from the Illustration work. So all together I have made £5995.88 for the tax year 2013-2014.

The Illustration job was very casual, sometimes I would come in to their office other times I would work from home, it was meant to be very short and I even offered to do it for free but I ended up getting paid, and it ended up stretching out sporadically until December, sometimes I would do 2 days a week, other times I wouldn't hear from them for a month, then I would do a full week, then not work for a time again (you get the idea).

I had no idea what I was meant to do tax wise, and the company paying me to do illustrations had my NI number so I wasn't sure if he would be doing my taxes. (Silly and ignorant, I know, and not a valid excuse, :-( .)

I have also managed to find a some train tickets from my journeys to their office, they add up to £181.20 not sure if that is anything worth noting? Travel expenses? And I have all the invoices for what I was paid doing the Illustrations.

So I guess what I am asking is, what is my best course of action here? What consequences will I be facing for being late? and is there anyway I can mitigate the consequences?

Im a bit panicky.

Thank you very much for your time

Was the illustration work a one-off that started and ended in the 2013/14 tax year or are you continuing to be self-employed?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



It was a one off, I have been unemployed since December.


Leave this with me while I draft my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much

Hi again.

Strictly, you should have registered as self-employed within three months of the end of the month in which you started out as such. There is a penalty of £100 which used to be levied on anybody who registered as self-employed late but this will only now normally be charged if an individual owes tax and/or national insurance contributions. Based on the figures you have given me, that won't be the case as your income is covered by the personal allowance for 2013/14 of £9,440. There are some notes on penalties here.

As your period of self-employment was a one-off, you will probably only need to complete one tax return so it may be worth calling the tax office on the number here, explaining your situation and asking them if you should formally register as self-employed even though, as of now, you are no longer self-employed. I had a friend who had a short period of self-employment and the tax office let them provide the income and expenses information in a letter. If you are told to register as self-employed, then you can do that online here. It's a fairly straightforward process but let me know if you have any problems. The criteria for a tax return submission are here.

If you do have to register as self-employed, you can if you wish complete your tax return online and you can register to do that here once you have your UTR (Universal Tax Reference). The deadlines for submission of the tax return can be found here.

As far as expenses are concerned, if you were working in a fixed location, your travel costs are not a tax deductible expense I'm afraid. Take a look here for the types of expenses you can claim.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have nay further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much, that puts my mind at ease a bit.


If I end up only having to complete one tax return, and not declare myself as self employed, what documents will I have to give my future employers? As I wouldn't have a P45.

Are you receiving jobseeker's allowance?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I was going to say that you would get a P45 from the Department of Work & Pensions if you are on JSA.

If and when you start a new job, it will be up to your new employer to register you as a new employee with HMRC. The employer won't need a P45 but if you have one, give it to them. They will need the information about here listed under "Reporting employee information to HMRC" here. You need to make sure they do that as soon as possible so the tax office can issue a tax code to you and the employer to avoid tax problems later on.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do have a P45 from Debenhams but as I said before that is prior to the self employed work. Would you argue it is worth signing up to JSA so that I can get a P45? Although I am hoping (touch wood) to get employed within the month. (I have been taking time off to develop my portfolio and it is now done, so I have already done a lot of applying)

A P45 is not critical now that employers have to report new employees they have taken on to HMRC online so it is almost instant. Many school leavers and those who have finished at university don't have a P45. I can't tell you whether you should sign up for JSA but if you are entitled to, you probably ought to. If nothing else, find out of you are eligible.

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Thanks for accepting my answer.

Good luck with your career search.