on 04-02-2013 4:40 PM
I just started my eBay store a month ago. I went to HMRC's website and registered as a sole trader. I just got the paperwork back from them for an online account for "self assessment." But there's no information at all on my HMRC account about my business. I notice on eBay in the part about my "business account" there's a space for a registration number from HMRC...which I don't seem to have.
After trying to go through the mumbo-jumbo, it takes me back to another link to "set up as a sole trader," which is this link:
But that's the first form I filled in the first place, with my business name and everything! At the time I didn't have a "UTR" (Unique Taxpayer Reference) number. But now I do.
Do I just refill this form out again, this time including my UTR and register as a business?
I have been googling around and HMRC's website isn't very helpful. I would greatly appreciate if anybody knows what to do before I go call their 0845 number and rack up a couple ££ in phone call costs!
To be specific I am selling photographic prints on eBay as a sole proprietor. I am looking for a "day job" as well, but it's my understanding that within 3 months of starting any self-employment activity you must by law register with HMRC. I'm also new to the UK and pretty clueless to how taxes work here in general.
on 04-02-2013 5:37 PM
It can be really daunting registering as self employed with the HMRC.
The best advice I can give you is to phone them up with any queries. I've always found them to be very helpful and easy to understand on the telephone.
Generally, you need to fill out the registration forms and return them to the HMRC. You're unlikely to hear anything from them until April of the following tax year when you will be required to complete your self assessment tax return. It does sound like you've already completed the registration form as you now have a UTR number.
When I first registered with the HMRC I was in both paid employment and self employed at the same time. Don't worry about being taxed twice in that situation, you won't be! You complete one section of the tax return for your employment earnings and then a separate section for each business that you run.
How much money do you plan to earn from your photographic prints? You may be elligible to an exemption of class 2 National Insurance Contributions, if you want to be exempt. I'd recommend talking with the an HMRC representative about that.
Hope this helps.
on 04-02-2013 5:55 PM
I know, right? I'm still sorting out a telly license fiasco from OCTOBER let alone deal with taxes! :-p
I'll take your advice and give them a call. I know they have a tax office in my hometown where you can make appointments and talk to someone in person (which I much prefer). I've found dealing with the bureaucracy here to be extremely daunting as a newly landed resident!
That's what I figured from my research--registering the "sole proprietorship" aspect of my business will allow me to add earnings from my eBay shop. Since I'm just starting out I don't anticipate it being much but want to get everything right from the start.
As for how much I'd like to earn...as much as possible! In addition to selling prints on eBay, I am learning photography like a sponge and plan to freelance travel photo-shoot as well. I am putting all of my photography business activities under this sole business name--I assume that's legit right? E.g., if I sell a photo to a magazine it would go as income under my business name, along with income that I derive from selling prints on eBay.
So to stop rambling, I anticipate this year going into 2014 it won't be much, I'd be surprised if I earned more than £1,000. I've never started a business before so all of this is a learning curve for me and I'm constantly tweaking and getting the "look" and format of my shop right before I go all out and list up to my selling allowance--100 different prints
Thank you for your advice!
on 04-02-2013 11:15 PM
I am putting all of my photography business activities under this sole business name--I assume that's legit right? E.g., if I sell a photo to a magazine it would go as income under my business name, along with income that I derive from selling prints on eBay.
That's legit if the business activities are related and it also keeps it simple for you as a sole trader.I guess "photographic sales" would more than cover your range of business activities so far as HMRC are concerned..
on 04-02-2013 11:23 PM
Yes, as of now I'm solely focussing on selling my imagery (mostly through eBay). I'm not looking to venture into doing studio/portrait work, etc.
Prints at carboot sales, art fairs, online, will pretty much sum it up! :-)
on 04-02-2013 11:43 PM
As others have said (or implied), registering with HMRC is no great problem. It simply covers your back. I actually ran a registered business for 24 years and every year I declared a small annual loss to HMRC.
After 24 years I actually made a few hundred pounds profit and paid the tax on that after the profit was offset by all those losses ;-)
in your own case, keep all receipts for any of your tax deductable expenditure, fill in your annual tax return and I guess you will be smiling all the way to your bank.