Tax

Tax Guide For Self-Employed Photographer

Tax Guide For Self-Employed Photographer

Self-employment in the UK refers to the act of working for yourself instead of somebody else. Being self-employed implies that finding work for yourself is your responsibility alone, and you can decide as per your will when you wish to accept a certain job offered to you. In addition to that, you must have your own equipment, mobile phone as well as a method of transport to commute to and from work. In the same vein, you will not be paid for any holidays or sick leaves, and if you do decide to take a break, you will go through these days without any earnings unless you decide to automate your business operations.

This is precisely why, although self-employment comes with a lot of benefits, you must ensure that you have the right set of qualifications and experience to operate an enterprise single-handedly. You must also have insurance in place and register yourself as a self-employed individual, do your taxes as well as send tax returns to HMRC.

It is also noteworthy that if you are a self-employed person, you are not restricted to only that. You can also have a full-time job while you continue working in the capacity of a self-employed individual on the side. If you are a self-employed photographer, you must know a few vital things when it comes to paying your taxes. In this article, we will check them out!

Taxes That Must Be Paid By Self-Employed Photographers

If you are a self-employed photographer, you will be required to pay Class 2 and 4 of the National Insurance as well as Income Tax on your earnings. When we say earnings, it means the money that clients pay you for your services as a photographer minus the allowances and expenses that you are entitled to.

Self-employed photographers often believe that their income is tax-free, and hence, they have no tax obligations when they work by themselves. However, that is not how it works. If you are a self-employed photographer, you are required to register with HMRC. Likewise, you must also declare your earnings. Your income might be tax-free if you earn less than the personal allowance. Still, you are required to declare your complete income through the self-assessment tax return form to HMRC.

However, there is one exception to the rule. You are only required to register with HMRC and pay taxes on your income as a self-employed photographer if your earnings are over £1,000 in a given taxation year. This means that if you earn less than the specified amount, then you do not need to declare your earnings as your income will be considered tax free. HMRC Trading Allowance is, therefore, a useful perk if you are looking to test the field of photography or alternatively earn a small, neat side income.

How Can You Register Yourself As A Self-Employed Photographer?

You are required to register with HMRC as a self-employed individual if you earn over £1,000, or you want to build a steady income being self-employed as a photographer. Keep in mind that tax years run every year from April 6th to April 5th, and since you are self-employed, you will have to work out your taxes for HMRC yourself.

How Can You Register Yourself As A Self-Employed Photographer?

It is fairly easy to register online as a self-employed professional. However, if you encounter any problems during the process, you can always rely on expert help such as DNS Accountants to assist you with your taxes.

What Are The Allowable Expenses For You?

Being self-employed comes with a number of perks such as reduced costs and expenses against your income. Hence, you can end up minimising the overall tax you need to pay significantly at the end of each fiscal year. HMRC sets out these rules, and you can claim the allowable expenses that are tax-deductible. Some of them are as follows:

  • Insurance
  • Equipment for photography such as your tripod, softboxes, camera and lighting
  • Phone and data
  • Website & Software subscriptions
  • Paid advertising or marketing
  • Printer and computer that you use to manage your bookings, social media or get printouts of your brochures/leaflets
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Bank charges that are imposed on a business bank account
  • Travel expenses when you use a bus, taxi or tube to reach shoots
  • Protective wear or branded clothing
  • Training required to ensure you stay relevant and your skills stay honed, including food costs, overnight stays and/or incidental travel
  • Mileage claim if you use your own vehicle (45p currently for the initial 10,000 driving miles and after that, 25p)
  • The use of your home if you work from home, either a portion of the household gas, electricity, water bills, rent or as a flat rate

Even though being a self-employed photographer comes with a plethora of advantages, doing your taxes can sometimes pose a number of problems. So, it might stand you in good stead to leave the worries to the experts and get your taxes sorted sooner rather than later!

About the Author:

Sumit Agarwal
, A specialist accountant and tax adviser for freelancers, contractors and small businesses since 2005, He is an expert in business growth and development strategies. A renowned tax expert for owner managed businesses and contractors, He won the British Business Forum’s Young Entrepreneur Award in September 2012, presented at the House of Commons by MP Vrinder Sharma.