Self-employed and in the armed forces

Updated on 9 April 2018

This section considers your rights and obligations if you are self-employed. Many of your questions will be answered by reading the ‘Self-Employment’ section of this website. Here we concentrate on matters arising when you are self-employed and a member of the armed forces. If you are self-employed and the partner of someone serving in the armed forces, normal rules should apply to you.

Remember you may need permission to carry on a self-employment while you are a member of the armed forces.

If you are posted overseas and either you or a member of your family carries out self-employment while you are overseas, read our page ‘self-employed and overseas’.

What do I need to know if I am both employed and self-employed?

It is your responsibility to tell HMRC when you become self-employed. You can read more about this in the ‘Self Employment’ section of the website. Normally HMRC will treat your employment as being your main job and will allocate your personal allowances against that source. They will also use up any lower rates of tax against your employment income first, meaning that your self-employment income will be taxable in full and may bear tax at higher rates.

A self-employed person usually pays two types of National Insurance contributions in addition to the National Insurance contributions they pay as an employee. For the self-employed person, these National Insurance contributions are paid along with your other tax liabilities arising from self-employment. Broadly if you earn more than £46,350 in your employment, you will have no further National Insurance contributions to pay in relation to your self-employment.

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Where can I find more information?

The ‘Self-employment’ section of this website provides further information in relation to:

If you think you might be entitled to state benefits, we provide an overview of the main benefits.

If you do not agree with a decision of HMRC, find out what action you can take on our ‘tax appeals’ page.

If you are unhappy with the way in which you have been treated by HMRC, you may be able to make a complaint.

HMRC manage the UK tax system. You can find their contact details on the GOV.UK website.

You can find out where to get help from third party organisations in our 'getting help section'.

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