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Congratulations on your new venture, it is great this is going well. Now that you are working for yourself you may need to register for self-assessment with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) so you can report your income and expenses to HMRC and pay any tax and National Insurance (NI). 

You need to register for self-assessment by 5th October. Find out more information about whether you need to register for self-assessment and file a tax return here

Registering as self-employed is the first tip on our 10 things you need to know if you are self-employed guide and it is simple and does not take long. If you are planning to use an accountant for your accounts or tax return, they may complete this as part of their package. 

Here are the 10 simple steps to follow. 

  1. If you have a Government Gateway account, you will need your username and password to log-in. Otherwise, you will need to create a business tax account. 
  2. To create this, go to this link and choose ‘create sign in details’. 
  3. Once created, sign in to your business tax account and choose ‘add tax to your account to get online access to a tax, duty or scheme’. 
  4. Choose the self-assessment option, if you have a unique tax reference (UTR) choose ‘Yes’ (this may be from years ago and will not change), if you do not select ‘No’ to register for the first time. 
  5. Choose individual or sole trader, and then ‘Yes’ to being self-employed. 
  6. To tell HMRC which tax you want to register your business for, choose ‘Self-assessment’. 
  7. Then choose ‘self-employed, sole trader/sole proprietor’ as your business type. 
  8. Enter the date you started working for yourself. 
  9. Complete the ‘About you’ and ‘About the business’ sections, you will need your National Insurance number for this. 
  10. Read the declaration and tick to confirm everything is correct. Take a screenshot or photo of this page with your acknowledgement reference. 

Once this is done, you will receive your UTR in the post, or you can view it in your online account once HMRC has processed your application. 

Make sure you read our article on Tax for the self-employed which will give you some more information. 

If you need some advice, guidance or help with your accounts and tax return give our experienced accountants a call to arrange a free meeting. Call us on 0800 0523 555 or use our online contact form and we will get in touch. 

Date published 25 Apr 2024 | Last updated 23 May 2024

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

Catherine Heinen, FCCA

Catherine is a Technical Content Writer at TaxAssist Accountants, and a qualified accountant. With experience working at two accountancy practices in the UK top 50 accountancy firms according to Accountancy Age, Catherine has significant experience in accounts, tax returns and advising clients. Catherine ensures businesses, business owners and individuals are kept up to date and informed by providing concise and informative technical material.

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