Tax if you work in the gig economy

Updated on 1 June 2023

The ‘gig’ economy is tempting more people to earn extra cash by using one of the many available online platforms to offer rides, run errands, make deliveries or do something else. Although this is a developing area of the economy, there are some important tax issues to be aware of.

The starting point is that the income derived from such jobs is usually taxable (unless the total gig income comes in at £1,000 or less, in which case it may not be) – even if you receive cash as payment or do it as a side job. It gets more complicated when you factor in things like deductible expenses, tax allowances, record-keeping requirements and National Insurance contributions (NIC). Here, we tell you the main things you need to know. 

Illustration of a cyclist delivering food to buildings

Is it self-employment income?

If your activity is regular, or done with a view to generating a profit and continues for at least a few months, then this will put you within the realms of ‘trading’ and thus, self-employment. Income from one-off jobs or very casual work may be taxable as miscellaneous income rather than self-employment income (more on this later). All the facts and circumstances will need to be considered when deciding the 'nature' of the income. You can find more information in the GOV.UK guidance.

HMRC have developed a page of guidance for online sellers (which includes those in the gig economy), which has some examples of when someone is trading which you may find helpful.

Please note that we have flagged up some inaccuracies on the page to HMRC, for example, the ‘How to register to pay your tax through Self Assessment’ section is misleading and somewhat scaremongering - it is still possible to register for Self Assessment after the 5 October deadline as we explain below.

If it is self-employed income, from the first day you start working, you will need to keep really good, accurate records. This applies even though you might not need to register with HMRC as self-employed until a later date. You do not need to use an accountant to draw up formal accounts as you go along but you need to keep track of your income (and expenses). An app might be able to help you with record keeping.

Tax and NIC for the self-employed

People who have self-employment income are responsible for reporting and paying their own tax and NIC to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), via the completion of a Self Assessment tax return. A tax return is a legal document and a reconciliation of all your taxable income and gains. It is important not to leave out any income (unless it is fully covered by the trading allowance – see later), no matter how small and no matter whether tax at source has already been operated, e.g. Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax.

You can complete your tax return online and if you do, you usually have to submit it and pay anything that you owe to HMRC by 31st January following the end of the tax year in question. From your second year of trading, HMRC may ask you to make payments on account. These are estimates of what your tax bill will be at the end of the year, based on the previous year’s return – be sure to set aside enough money to pay them (if you need to).

The tax return form has a section for self-employment income and expenses (more on expenses later). Keeping up-to-date records on your income and expenses from the start is important as it makes it easier to complete your tax return. If you do not keep adequate records or complete your tax return correctly or on time you may have to pay a penalty.

If you have self-employment income, it is usually necessary to complete a tax return even where your total level of income means that there is no tax or NIC due (unless your self-employment income is fully covered by the trading allowance). You can find the thresholds for tax and NIC on our Tax and National Insurance contribution rates page.

In 2023/24, Class 2 NICs (the type of NIC that self-employed people pay to gain access to the benefits system) are only payable if your profits are over £12,570. On profits between £6,725 and £12,570, you are treated as if you have paid Class 2 NIC, even though nothing is actually due. You can pay Class 2 NIC voluntarily if your profits are below £6,725. They are payable at a flat rate of £3.45 per week (in 2023/24). Class 4 NIC contributions are also due at 9% on profits over a certain level (£12,570 to £50,270) and 2% after that. Class 4 contributions do not count towards any benefits however you still have to pay them.    

Registering as self-employed with HMRC

By law, newly self-employed people must notify HMRC by 5 October in the tax year following that in which their activity began or risk a penalty (unless their income from it is fully covered by the trading allowance – see later). For example, if Niall begins trading in the tax year 2023/24 (which runs from 6 April 2023 to 5 April 2024), he must tell HMRC by 5 October 2024. The easiest way to do this is to fill in the form CWF1.

Once you have registered, HMRC will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) which is your reference for the tax return system. If you are going to complete your tax return online, you will also need government gateway log-in details so that you can access HMRC’s online services system.

What if i miss the deadline? 

As mentioned above, there are penalties for failing to notify HMRC of a new source of income by 5 October, which are based on the tax (and Class 2/4 NIC) that could potentially be lost as a result of the failure to notify on time (‘potential lost revenue’).

Where the 5 October deadline is missed, a person should still register as soon as possible. As long as a tax return is submitted and any money due is paid on time (normally by the following 31 January), there should be no potential lost revenue and no penalty to pay. Similarly, there also cannot be a failure to notify penalty if there is nothing to pay by 31 January (for example because your profit was low and below the tax and NIC thresholds) as there will be no potential lost revenue.

As well as paying what you owe, you will probably need to file your tax return by the following 31 January. Occasionally, because HMRC give people three months to file a tax return after the notice to file has been issued, the filing deadline will actually be after 31 January. In these instances, it is important to understand that the tax payment deadline of 31 January does not change regardless of when a notice to file is issued, so you will still need to pay and tax and NIC you owe by 31 January (which you will probably have to estimate, if your tax return is still pending) to avoid a failure to notify penalty.

If you still think you face a penalty, then see our dedicated a page of guidance.

What I’m already registered for another reason?

If you are already in the Self Assessment system but aren’t registered as self-employed, you may still need to tell HMRC about your gig economy income by completing form CWF1 and then including it on your tax return – but, again, see the section on the trading allowance for an exception to this.

If you are already in the Self Assessment system and are already registered as self-employed but in a different trade sector to the gig work (for example, you are a builder but start driving for Uber in the evenings), you do not need to register your self-employment again but when you complete your tax return, you will need to state you have two different trades (by completing two sets of self-employment pages/sections) and include details on each trade separately. For more information see our guidance on having more than one self-employment trade (sometimes called multi-trades). 

What do I have to pay tax and NIC on?

You only pay tax and NIC on your ‘profit’ – so if your income is £5,000 a year and you have £1,200 of business expenses, you would only pay tax and NIC on £3,800.

The amount of tax you pay on your profit depends on what other income you have, for example, if Raj, who lives in England, has an employment in which he earns £7,000 but also has a gig economy profit of £3,000, he will pay 0% tax on it, as his total income does not exceed the £12,570 tax-free personal allowance (2023/24). But if he has an employment in which he earns £20,000 and £3,000 profit, he will pay 20% tax on the £3,000 profit, so £600.

Usually, tax and NIC is calculated for you automatically as part of completing your online tax return, but it is useful to understand how it works. The detailed illustration below shows how tax and NIC is calculated using 2022/23 tax rates (this tax return is due on the 31 January 2024).


Colin starts working in the gig economy in April 2022. He is based in England and has gig economy income of £16,500 and business expenses of £3,125. He has no other taxable income.

His income tax and NIC for the 2022/23 tax year will be calculated as follows:

  £ Notes 
Income 16,500 This is ‘gross’ income so if expenses are deducted before income is transferred to your bank account (such as platform fees), you will need to ‘add these expenses back’ to get to the correct income figure.
Less expenses 3,125 Remember to include all business expenses or, if the total is less than £1,000, you may want to use the trading allowance instead.
Taxable profit 13,375  
Income tax  161 Income tax is calculated as taxable profit less the tax-free personal allowance (£12,570) multiplied by the basic tax rate. So (£13,375 - £12,570) x 20%
Class 2 National Insurance – these help you qualify for certain welfare benefits including the state pension 163.80 In 2022/23 class 2 NIC is calculated as £3.15 for each week of self-employment. As Colin has worked for the entire tax year he will pay the maximum amount. There is information on Class 2 NIC in our guidance.
Class 4 National Insurance  142.73

Class 4 NIC is usually calculated at 9% on profits less the ‘lower profits threshold’. However,  in the 2022/23 tax year this would be calculated as follows: (£13,375-£11,908) x 9.73%.

There is more information on Class 4 NIC in our guidance.


When calculating your profit, you can take into account any expenses ‘wholly and exclusively’ paid out for the purposes of your business, such as car, van or other travel expenses and administrative costs, including mobile phones.

If you use something for both business and private purposes, a mobile phone or vehicle for example, you should keep evidence – mobile phone bills/mileage logs, etc. so that the appropriate percentage of business use can be identified. You may be able to claim a round sum amount equal to the ‘trading allowance’ for your business expenses instead of the actual business expenses you have incurred (more on this later).

Remember that some of your income might be paid to you after certain costs have already been deducted, for example fees and commissions.

It is important not to double-count these expenses as this will under-state your taxable profits and could mean you pay too little tax and NIC. For example, if you have an expense, such as platform fees, which is taken off your income before it is transferred into your bank account, and you take this ‘net’ amount as income but then also deduct the platform fees as a separate expense (or use the trading allowance), then you will have double counted them.


In the 2022/23 tax year you received income in your bank account from online sales of £2,000. You worked out that your actual expenses you directly paid out were £800. Because the £1,000 trading allowance is more than the £800 expenses, you claimed trading allowance ‘partial relief’. This meant your taxable profit was £1,000 (£2,000 income minus the £1,000 trading allowance). You put this on the tax return you submitted to HMRC.

After reading this guidance, you look back at your £2,000 sales and realise that this was the amount you received in your bank account and there had been £400 in fees taken off before you received it. This means that your gross trading income was £2,400. Your total expenses were £1,200 – the £400 fees plus the other £800 expenses you had already included.  

This means that your 2022/23 tax return should have showed total gross trading income of £2,400, minus £1,200 expenses, which leaves a profit of £1,200. Actual expenses should have been claimed instead of trading allowance partial relief as the actual expenses of £1,200 are more than the £1,000 trading allowance. Your profit was therefore £200 higher than the £1,000 you put on your tax return. You need to amend your 2022/23 tax return.

To make sure your figures are accurate when dealing with these types of expenses, you need to make sure you add the expense back on to the amount you have received in your bank account and then deduct the expense separately.

There is more information on expenses in our guidance.

What other expenses can I claim?

Most expenses that you incur doing your gig work should be allowed. Some common expenses gig workers might claim include:

  • insurance
  • PayPal or banking charges

  • uniforms

  • internet

Expenses which are not allowed include entertaining, most subsistence costs (such as lunches when you are at work) and clothing unless it’s something you only use for work – for example specific reflective clothing for cycling at night which you only use when delivering takeaways.

If you have purchased a capital asset to use in your business such as a vehicle or IT equipment then how you treat this for tax purposes, depends on whether you are using the cash basis or accruals basis to work out your figures. We cover these in more detail on our website including how you treat capital assets on your tax return.

How do vehicle expenses work?

There are two approaches to calculating business expenses relating to vehicles. You can either use the simplified mileage rates OR claim a business proportion of actual costs and /or capital allowances. You can’t claim both.

The simplified expenses approach gives a fixed amount per business mile depending on your annual business mileage and the type of vehicle you use.

The alternative method means keeping records of any expenses connected with your vehicle and working out what proportion of these costs relates to business use only. Expenses include:

  • Petrol and/or diesel

  • Oil

  • Repairs

  • Servicing

  • Insurance

  • Vehicle excise duty (also known as car tax)

  • MOT certificate

We have a table showing the different simplified fixed rates depending on your circumstances such as type of vehicle, annual business mileage and whether you use the cash or accruals basis to prepare your accounts, here.

You need to be careful about not counting ‘ordinary commuting’ as business mileage. For example, if you are a courier and travel regularly to a depot to take instructions or collect parcels before you go out on your rounds, then HMRC might class this as ordinary commuting.

Filling out your tax return

Filling out a tax return for the first time can be daunting but the good news is that most of the boxes on the tax return will not be relevant to you and you probably only need to complete a few once you get past the tailored questions section!

You will need to work through the main section of the form (with your personal details etc.) and then fill in the supplementary self-employment pages to report your gig work (and any other supplementary pages that may be relevant). If you are also employed, you will need to fill in the supplementary employment pages too, even though tax has already been paid at source under PAYE.

Most people doing gig work use what is known as the cash basis to work out the figures for their tax return (that is what was earned less what was spent = taxable profits) rather than the traditional accruals basis, where sometimes income or expenses are ‘counted’ before or after they actually occur (it is ‘matched’ to the time it relates to rather than when it was actually received/paid for). See our guidance for more information on the cash basis and the accruals basis.

To understand what help is available with completing a tax return, see the guidance in our getting help page. This might be from a professional adviser, the tax charities, an app, or even HMRC. If you want to try and do it yourself, then that’s fine too and we have lots of information to help you on our website and we have a case study in our self-employment guide which covers the self-employment pages on the tax return.

What if I work for more than one platform?

Many people working in the gig economy provide services for different platforms at the same time, for example offering delivery services for a number of different delivery apps. When preparing your tax return it is important to include income from all the different self-employment platforms and be careful to only deduct expenses once if they relate to more than one income stream. For example, if you are a delivery driver and your bike needs repairing then that cost should only be deducted once in total even if you deliver for several different delivery apps.

If the type of work that you do for the platforms is similar, then you only need to fill out one set of self-employment pages for all the different income streams. However, if you have two or more distinct trades, such as selling home-made cards and delivering via platforms then two different sets of self-employment pages will be needed to report the figures.

Warning: If you work for multiple platforms, the income earned from each different platform could be small and so appear to fall under the trading allowance. However, if you combine it, it could mean that you earn more than the £1,000 trading allowance threshold, or you could earn enough to start paying tax and/or National Insurance contributions. The £1,000 threshold looks at income before any expenses are deducted.

Ceasing self-employment

You should tell HMRC when you cease self-employment otherwise they will just assume that your self-employment is ongoing and will continue to expect tax returns from you. You will need to fill in a tax return for the year your self-employment ends – the exact date that you stopped being self-employed should be given (this will also help make sure you do not overpay Class 2 NIC).

If you leave the UK, you may have some trailing responsibilities to meet before you can ask HMRC to close down your tax record, so you shouldn’t think of your departure as the automatic end of any UK tax issues. If you leave things messy, you could be met with problems if ever you return to the UK. It is very important to keep HMRC up to date with your overseas contact details.

Miscellaneous income

‘Miscellaneous’ catches income which does not fall within any other category, for example employment or self-employment. If you require more information on miscellaneous income, you could look at HMRC’s manual.

You will need to tell HMRC about any miscellaneous income payments (unless they fall under the trading allowance – see later), but you may not need to complete a tax return if there is not tax due or HMRC are able to collect any tax owed through another way – for example, by adjusting your PAYE tax code (if you have one).

If the income is ‘miscellaneous’, you cannot pay Class 2 NIC. Unless enough NIC or NIC credits will be put on your record any other way, you may wish to consider making voluntary Class 3 NIC. These are quite expensive at £17.45 a week (in 2023/24), so before committing yourself, you should consider if it is necessary to make them, taking account of how many qualifying years you have already towards your state pension and your future potential to make up any gaps. You can check how many qualifying years you have already through your Personal Tax Account. You can usually pay Class 3 NIC within six tax years so you can delay payment if you are uncertain for now. 

What is the trading allowance?

A trading allowance was introduced from the 2017/18 tax year onwards, to exempt gross trading and/or miscellaneous income of up to £1,000 per tax year from income tax. This might include income from the gig economy or from selling things online (more on this later).

If your total trading or miscellaneous income (before expenses) is £1,000 or less then you have no taxable income from the activities. This means there is no need to include the income on a Self Assessment tax return (referred to as full relief). So, if Freddy usually completes a tax return because he has employment expenses that he claims tax relief on, and in 2023/24 starts doing a few odd jobs in the gig economy, then provided the income from this is less than £1,000 he doesn’t need to pay any tax on it or tell HMRC about it in his 2023/24 tax return.

Similarly, if Jax has trading or miscellaneous income of less than £1,000 for 2023/24 but is not already in the Self Assessment system, there is no need for her to register for Self Assessment in these circumstances. (If Jax had previously been in Self Assessment then she should contact HMRC to check whether she is still required to file a 2023/24 tax return, she should not assume that she will not have to as this could result in late filing penalties.)

If Jax’s income is over £1,000 and it is trading income then she must register for Self Assessment as a self-employed person.

Jax can then choose to deduct the trading allowance from the income instead of deducting her actual business expenses for the period (this is called partial relief). If she does this, the taxable profit from the activity will simply be the total income less the trading allowance. So, if Jax has total income of £1,700 from selling home-baking at local monthly farmers markets in 2023/24, and she decides to claim the trading allowance, her taxable profit from this is £700.

It would be beneficial to claim the trading allowance in this way if you do not have very many expenses related to the activity (for example, less than £1,000). It will still be necessary to keep accurate business records, so you know what your income and expenses are to be able to work out whether or not you wish to claim the trading allowance. You can find out more about the trading allowance on our page What is the trading allowance?.

It is important to note that an individual who has an established self-employment who starts up a smaller second trade may be unable to benefit from the trading allowance as their combined income from both trades is likely to exceed £1,000 and partial relief will not be attractive as the individual will be prevented from deducting the expenses incurred in their main trade.

There may be some occasions when it is preferable for you to report the income to HMRC rather than use the trading allowance. It is also important to understand that you still need to report the income covered by the trading allowance for some means-tested benefits, such as universal credit (although not for tax credits). There is more explanation on our website.

Remember that some of your income might be paid to you after certain costs have already been deducted, for example fees and commissions, so you must be careful how you use the trading allowance. 


You receive a payment of £892.50 direct to your bank account from a website which sells your craft goods. However, the website charges 15% fees to sell your goods and they take this from the income from the sale of your goods before they pay you. Your gross trading income is actually £1,050 even though you only receive £892.50, as shown below:

Sale price (gross income) 1,050.00
Minus: website fees (15%)    157.50
- -
Amount you receive in bank account    892.50

This means that you are not eligible for full relief trading allowance and will need to register for self-employment and complete a tax return as your trading income is over £1,000. You can still claim ‘partial relief’ on your tax return instead of your actual expenses which will reduce your trading income to £50 (£1,050 gross income minus the £1,000 trading allowance).

What if I’ve used the trading allowance incorrectly?

If you have claimed the trading allowance incorrectly, perhaps by using full relief when your gross income is actually above £1,000 as per the example above, then you need to make sure you correct your tax position as soon as possible.

This may mean you have to register your self-employment with HMRC and complete a tax return to declare the income. There may be penalties if you have missed the deadline for telling HMRC that you need to complete a tax return. If you are in this position and on a low income, contact TaxAid for help in getting your tax affairs up to date.

If you already complete a tax return for other reasons and claimed ‘full relief’ using the trading allowance by mistake, you will need to amend your tax return to include this income. You can however, then claim ‘partial relief’ of the trading allowance instead of actual expenses (see above).

You will also need to amend your tax return if you have incorrectly claimed ‘partial relief’ against income that has already been reduced by actual expenses.

What if I make a loss?

To make a loss you must have more allowable deductions (such as expenses) than income earned through your self-employment. This would be quite unusual in gig economy work where you are essentially making money from your time rather than, for example, buying stock to sell or a having a big outlay such as rent on business premises or equipment.

If you do make a loss then what you can do with it depends on factors such as:

  • Have you just started or are finishing your gig work?

  • Do you use the cash basis or accruals basis to prepare your tax return?

  • Do you have other taxable income in the tax year?

The table on our webpage ‘What if I make a loss?’ explains exactly what you can do with your loss depending on your circumstances.

The trading allowance cannot be used to make a loss.

Should I operate through a limited company?

You may have heard about supplying your services through your own limited company as a way of saving some tax. Setting up a limited (Ltd) company is very different from just being  ‘self-employed’ in your own name (the technical term for this is a ‘sole trader’).

A business which is run as a Ltd company will be owned and operated by the company itself. The company is recognised in law as having an existence which is separate from the person who formed the company and from the directors/shareholders. A company is liable to corporation tax on all 'profits'. A company must file accounts in a specific format to Companies House and file corporation tax returns to HMRC.

In your personal capacity, you will be a director/shareholder of the Ltd company and also the person that the company hires out to provide services (you would usually set yourself up as an employee of the company to do this) so may be receiving income from the company in the form of a salary and/or dividends. In this situation the enterprise you work for must pay the company for its services, usually on production of an invoice (they should not pay you directly). The Ltd company will have to run a payroll to process your salary correctly under PAYE and you should be completing personal tax returns to declare such income and pay any income taxes.

There is information on running a limited company on our website, however, this generally may not be a suitable way to trade for the low-paid business owner because of all the administrative considerations.

Should I register for VAT?

You do not need to register for VAT until your sales income reaches a very high threshold (currently £85,000).

You may hear of people in the gig economy with income under this threshold who register for VAT ‘voluntarily’ however, as we set out in our dedicated page, entering the VAT regime is not something to be undertaken lightly.

What employment rights am I entitled to?

Gig economy workers have traditionally been classified as self-employed for employment law purposes. A ‘genuinely’ self-employed person is their own boss and so needs no protection under employment law. But this view has been challenged recently by individuals claiming they should be reclassified as ‘workers’ for employment law purposes, meaning that they are entitled to a core set of rights and protections including the minimum wage and paid holidays. See our recent article for more information.

A person may be a ‘worker’ where they provide a service but as part of someone else’s business and where they must carry out the work personally rather than send someone else in their place. GOV.UK contains further information on employment rights for ‘workers’.

If you need help understanding your employment law status you can contact ACAS for confidential and free support and advice.

It is worth noting that even if you are classified as a ‘worker’ under employment law, you will not become entitled to statutory sick pay or any other statutory payments for that matter, for example statutory maternity pay, etc. This is because currently, most gig economy workers do not have their pay dealt with under the PAYE system (and therefore do not have a ‘secondary contributor’ – that is, an employer to pay employer National Insurance) and this is the trigger for such payments to be made. Maternity allowance or employment and support allowance may be available instead from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Am I entitled to any benefits while I’m working?

The main ‘in work’ benefits are tax credits and universal credit (UC). For tax credits purposes you generally need to spend sufficient hours in paid work, for example 16, 24 or 30 hours per week depending on your circumstances, in order to qualify. Your gig economy hours alone may reach the relevant threshold, or they may do so when they are added to any other working time you have.

One important thing to note with regards to tax credits is that even if you meet the hours test, a ‘self-employed’ claimant faces a test of whether their self-employed activity is carried on upon a commercial basis with a view to making a profit and is organised and regular. You may need to provide documents like a business plan, customer lists, or marketing materials to HMRC so that HMRC can check your claim. You can read more about this on our specialist website Revenuebenefits.

Tax credits are being replaced by Universal Credit (UC) and you may now have to claim UC. You do not need to work a set number of hours under UC like you do for tax credits, but there is a ‘gainful self-employment test’ (a bit like the test in tax credits) and if you are not ‘gainfully self-employed’, you are likely to have some work-related obligations as part of your claim (unless you are formally deemed to have no work requirements). DWP will look at things like whether self-employment is your main occupation, how many hours you spend undertaking self-employed activity and how much you are earning from it. If they decide you are gainfully self-employed, you should be aware that the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) may apply after 12 months of starting self-employment, meaning that UC payments will be made based on an assumption that you are earning a certain amount from your self-employment (even if that is not the case, for example because of unexpected fluctuations in income and expenses).

UC is a monthly benefit, calculated and paid in arrears, which means that the amount you get is worked out on your circumstances and the income you have received in your ‘assessment period’. You will need to provide information about any self-employed earnings in your assessment period to the DWP each month so they can calculate your UC. You should be careful not to confuse HMRC with DWP and in particular, be aware that the rules for calculating relevant profit figures for UC are not exactly the same as the rules for tax purposes. For example, the trading allowance (see above) is not recognised for UC purposes.

You can find out more about UC and self-employment on our specialist website Revenuebenefits and on GOV.UK

What if I lose my job?

The usual benefit that people think of if they are unemployed is ‘New style’ Jobseekers Allowance. This is a contributory benefit (based on whether you have paid enough National Insurance), but it is not available to formerly self-employed people who are now unemployed.

The main benefit you may be able to claim if you are no longer working and are struggling to find work is UC. For those who have reached their state pension qualifying age, it is pension credit. If you get UC as you are out of work but then find some more work, you can continue to claim UC. There is no upper limit to the number of hours you can work, although your earnings will usually reduce the amount of your award and sometimes they will reduce it to nil.

For information on claiming benefits if you are behind with your taxes, see here.

What if I’m making money online in different ways? 

If you are earning money by renting out or selling things online or doing other things, then it is important to understand that there may be tax consequences. You must be on top of your taxes from the start so that you don’t accidentally miss an important deadline or make a mistake. Read our specific guidance to find out more.

Help! I’m behind with my taxes.  

We know that some self-employed people, including some of those in the gig economy, may be behind with their taxes for all sorts of reasons. If this applies to you, we look at how to bring your tax affairs up to date on our dedicated page

What information do I need to keep?

You need to keep records of your business income and expenses to prepare an accurate tax return or prove that you can claim the trading allowance (if you don’t need to prepare a tax return). Also, HMRC may write to you asking for further information about a tax return you have already completed and sometimes they want to see your business records as part of their enquiry.

Business records may include:

  • payment slips,

  • invoices,

  • receipts,

  • bank statements.

You don’t need to open a new bank account for your gig work, but you may prefer to so that your self-employment finances are kept separate from your personal ones.

You need to keep business records for at least five years after the 31 January tax return filing deadline. So, for the 2022/23 tax year you need to submit your tax return to HMRC and pay tax by 31 January 2024 and keep records relating to this tax return until 31 January 2029.

Currently, you can keep paper copies or emails of business records. However, the way you record your business records could change for you in the future as Making Tax Digital for Income Tax starts. There is more information on keeping business records on this page of our website.

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