When to register as self employed with HMRC for tax

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Getting Started in Wordpress Internet Marketing

If you are thinking about starting up in business, either as self employed or in a partnership, one of the very first things you need to is register with HMRC for tax purposes.

Being registered with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) means that the tax office knows about your business activities and can arrange to make sure the correct tax is paid.  HMRC collect taxes on behalf of the government and when you are in business you are liable for tax on the profits of your business.

It used to be that you had around 90 days to register with HMRC from the date you began your new business.  However in recent years this has changed.  Now you need to register as soon as possible after starting your business.

While there may seem like more important things to be doing while you are trying to get your business off the ground, you really need to pay attention to this.  Failure to register in time with HMRC will result in a financial penalty or a fine.  And that’s not what you want when you are trying to make some money out of your new business.

Registering with HMRC is really easy and it can be done online at their website www.hmrc.gov.uk

Don’t mislead yourself or let friends thay don’t know the rules influence you.  You might think, my online income is going to be tiny, I don’t need to, or want to register to pay tax on those earnings. But put simply, you are wrong.

Regardless of how much you might earn from your online activites, you must register with HMRC.  You will have to fill in a tax return.

After completing the tax return HMRC will tell you if you owe any tax and how much.  If your earnings are sufficiently low, maybe you won’t owe any tax. But you must let HMRC decide this themselves.

The process for registering with HMRC is slightly different depending on whether you are completely new to self employment or if you have had a self employed business in the past.

If you have worked for yourself before, you will have had to fill in an annual tax return.  As part of that process you will have been given a Unique Tax Reference (UTR).  When you register with HMRC to tell them that you are back in business again, they will want your Unique Tax Reference as part of the registration process.

If you have never been self employed before and have never had to complete a tax return, you will be issued with a new Unique Tax Reference as part of the process.

Registering with HMRC,
New registrations (don’t have a UTR)
Register with your existing UTR

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