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When should a blogger declare themselves as self employed?


As a blogger, working with brands and PR companies is something that I do regularly. I work with brands to promote their products, and sometimes I get paid to host content, or write sponsored posts. That's why it was so important that I researched what I needed to do in terms of declaring any payments that I was receiving. I wasn't too sure about all the rules, and how to go about declaring the money I was making, so I thought I would share my experience with going self employed and filing my first self assessment tax return.



WHEN DID I DECLARE MYSELF AS SELF EMPLOYED?

I set up my blog in January 2017, and in February 2017 I was offered my first piece of paid work. It felt amazing to be doing what I loved and making some money to help fund my new hobby. I was already aware that I needed to declare myself as self employed within 3 months of receiving my first payment, so this is something that I did straight away. As soon as you start receiving payment for your work you need to declare this to HMRC. You can give give them a call to discuss the next steps you need to take...
 

WHY DO YOU NEED TO DECLARE YOURSELF AS SELF EMPLOYED?

The reason why you need to declare that you are self employed and earning is so that you can pay the relevant amount of taxes at the end of the financial year. Even if you are working full-time or part-time alongside your blog, you still need to declare that you are making money from your blog. This is because adding on the money from your blog to your everyday work can take you over the threshold for paying tax, or adds to the tax that you already pay from your employment. If you do not pay the correct amount of tax, you can be hit with a hefty fine.

HOW DO I FILL IN A SELF ASSESSMENT FORM?

Firstly, it is important to keep track of all your earnings and expenses when it comes to your blog. You need to keep your receipts so you know how much your expenses are for the year, as well as what you are earning. I keep all of this in a simple spreadsheet so it is easy to keep tracking of everything that is going in and out. I also have a business bank account just for my blogging so I have statements for everything. The self assessment form is very straight forward and you can save it and come back to it before sending it off. This has to be done by January or you can get fined for not filling it in. 

WHAT IF I NEED HELP WITH MY SELF ASSESSMENT OR ANYTHING RELATED TO TAX?

If you are unsure what to do when it comes to self assessment, filing tax returns or contacting the HMRC about tax refunds you can give them a call or visit the website. You can find out all the information you need for anything related to Tax and the HMRC on the Contact Numbers UK (CNUK) website. CNUK are letting you know how you can get help with everything related to tax with their #LetsTalkTax campaign. Tax doesn't have to be scary, so if you are unsure visit the site and have a look around, or use the hashtag on twitter to ask all your tax questions.

You can find anything from tax calculators to forms needed for self assessment on the HMRC site, which I have personally found really helpful. 

Remember that you have to declare yourself as self employed as soon as you accept money in return for your work. Don't get caught out as it can be very costly!

What is your experience with tax returns? Have you ever applied for a tax refund?


SARAH HUGHES
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3 comments on "When should a blogger declare themselves as self employed? "
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