Contractor Tax Returns

If you are a freelancer or a contractor and have received income during the tax year upon which tax is due, then you will have to file a self assessment tax return each year. You will need to register for self assessment and you will then receive your Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR) which you’ll need to keep safe for future tax returns.

Self-Employed Tax Calculator

Contractor Tax Returns

I'm a self-employed contractor so how do I pay my taxes?

Self-employed people use HMRC's Self Assessment tax return system to declare their income and pay the tax they owe. You have to resister for Self Assessment, and file a yearly tax return. Contracting work often comes with some unavoidable costs attached. Many of these count as "allowable expenses" in your Self Assessment returns. This means they can be used to bring down the amount of income you're paying tax on.

Self-Employed Tax Calculator

Freelance Tax Returns

How does the self assessment system work?

Once you're registered for Self Assessment, you'll need to start keeping track of your business records and the money you've got coming in and going out. The more organised you are about this, the better. You've got a strict deadline of the 31st of January to file your yearly tax return, and to pay what you owe. That's assuming you're filing online. If you do your returns on paper, they need to be filed earlier, by the 31st of October.

One thing that catches a lot of people out when they're new to Self Assessment is "payments on account". Basically, in addition to paying what you already owe, the taxman will also take a guess as to what you're going to owe next time. You have to pay half of this by the 31st of January, then the rest on the following 31st of July. If you end up paying too much or too little because of your payments on account, HMRC will settle up.

Self-Employed Tax Calculator

Contractor Tax Returns

Is there a simpler way of calculating my expenses?

Not everyone wants the hassle of keeping receipts for every last expense throughout the year. You might also have trouble calculating exactly what proportion of your travel or phone bills were used for business.

To keep everything streamlined and easy, many contractors choose to use HMRC's Simplified Expenses instead. These are flat rates of tax relief you can claim for common types of work expenses. You can only do this if you're a Sole Trader or in a partnership with no companies as partners. You might not end up getting all the tax relief you could, but it does lighten the paperwork load involved. 

Self-Employed Tax Calculator

Tax Returns For Freelancers

Can I get help with my self assessment tax returns?

Yes! RIFT are the UK's leading tax experts, and we're here to help. We can quickly get you registered for Self Assessment tax returns and track down all your allowable expenses. Our specialised Self Assessment service can even take care of your tax returns entirely! We'll save you money and keep you on the right side of HMRC. Get in touch to see what we can do for you.

Self-Employed Tax Calculator


Becoming a self-employed freelancer

If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader - even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - and you’ll need to register as self-employed to make sure you pay the correct Income Tax and National Insurance.

Becoming a Freelancer

Need more help?

Wondering if you can claim a tax refund or need to submit a tax return? Use our online tools to find out if you're owed money by HMRC.

Do I Qualify?

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