Tax Return for Self-Employed: 3 Things You Need to Know

As a self-employed individual, you’re responsible for paying your taxes and filing your own tax return. This can involve keeping track of your income, expenses, and deductions and navigating the complexities of the tax code.

One key thing to remember is that self-employment income is subject to income tax and self-employment tax.

Today we will discuss tax returns for self-employed individuals. From keeping proper records to deducting business expenses, we’ll cover the key things you need to know to stay on top of your taxes.

Importance of Tax Returns

Compliance with the Law

Filing your tax return as a self-employed individual is not just a suggestion; it’s a legal requirement. The tax authorities expect you to report your income and pay the necessary taxes on time. By complying with the law, you avoid potential penalties, audits, and legal complications. It’s essential to stay on the right side of tax regulations to maintain a smooth and legally sound business operation.

Accurate Financial Records

Keeping accurate financial records is another critical reason for filing your tax return as a self-employed individual. By meticulously tracking your income and expenses, you gain a clear overview of your business’s financial health. Additionally, organized records make it easier to justify deductions, protect yourself in case of an audit, and effectively manage your business’s financial affairs.

Maximizing Deductions

When you file your tax return as a self-employed individual, you have the opportunity to maximize deductions and lower your overall tax liability. Various deductions are available specifically for self-employed individuals, allowing you to offset your business expenses and reduce your taxable income. By taking advantage of these deductions, you can save money and invest it back into your business’s growth.

Tax Return for Self-Employed: What Does It Mean?

If you earned more than £1,000 from self-employment between April 6, 2022, and April 5, 2023, you must register as a sole trader and file a Self Assessment tax return. As a sole trader, you are responsible for your business finances and must keep records of your income and expenses for tax purposes.

In the UK, if you are self-employed, you must file a tax return each year using the Self Assessment system of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to collect Income Tax. 

When you file your Self Assessment tax return, you will report all of your sources of income, including the income you earned from self-employment. You will calculate the amount of tax that you owe based on the profits that you made that are taxable. 

Unlike when you are an employee, the tax is not automatically deducted from your income. Therefore, you are responsible for paying your taxes as a self-employed person.

The UK government has introduced changes to the tax system to make it easier for small businesses to complete their tax returns. From April 6, 2023, self-employed individuals and small businesses can use cash basis accounting to report their income and expenses. This accounting method records transactions when money is received or paid, making it simpler than other accounting methods.

3 Things You Need to Know As A Self-Employed Tax Return

Understanding the key considerations and following some best practices can make the process easier and ensure you comply with the law. Here are three essential things you need to know:

Report Your Business Income Separately 

As self-employed, you must report your business income separately from your salary when you file your taxes. This is because your business income is considered part of your overall personal income, which is taxed at individual income tax rates. 

Distinguish between Taxable And Non-Taxable Income

Any money you earn from selling goods or providing services as self-employed must be reported as business income for tax purposes.

If you work for yourself, you need to know which income you have to pay taxes on and which income you don’t. Any money you make from your business, like profits or grants from the government, is considered taxable income, and you have to pay taxes on it.

Keep Accurate And Organised Record

If you work for yourself, keeping accurate and organised records of your business transactions is important. This helps you keep track of your income, purchases, and expenses and makes it easier to manage your finances and prepare your taxes.

Your business records should include information about the money coming in, such as sales receipts, invoices, and bank statements. You should also keep records of your purchases, such as receipts and invoices for equipment, supplies, and materials. In addition, it’s essential to keep track of your business-related expenses, such as rent, utilities, and travel expenses.


Whether you get help from a tax expert or use software to prepare your taxes, it’s essential to understand the tax laws that apply to your business. This will help you save money and keep your business on track.

Filing your tax return is required by law, but it’s also an opportunity to take charge of your finances and make intelligent decisions for your business. By keeping your records organised and seeking guidance from reliable sources, you can confidently file your taxes and focus on growing your business.

To ensure you’re filing your taxes correctly and taking advantage of all the deductions and credits available, it’s a good idea to consult with a tax advisor or use a reputable tax software program.