Self-employed and in the armed forces

Updated on 15 June 2019

Armed forces

This section considers your obligations if you are self-employed alongside being a member of the armed forces. Many of your questions will be answered by reading the self-employment section. 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.

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. 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.

However, if you only earn a small amount of income through self-employment, you may not need to inform HMRC or pay any tax on that income because of the new Trading and Income Allowance (known as the 'Trading Allowance'). You can read more about it in our factsheet.

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. However, where someone is both employed and self-employed there is an annual maximum of contributions that is due which is set out in legislation. 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.

Back to the top

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.

Back to the top