Registering as a Sole Trader

If you earn more than £1,000 from self-employment during the tax year, you are required to register with HMRC for self-assessment. Registration must be completed by October 5 in your business’s second tax year or you could be liable to a fine. Registration is quite simple and can be done on-line at

Once you are registered, HMRC will issue you with a ten digit unique taxpayer reference, which you will need for your tax return and future contact with HMRC.

Even if your self employment income is less than £1,000, you may still choose to register if you need to prove you are self-employed (e.g. to claim tax free childcare) or if you want to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance payments.

If you are not self-employed

You may still need to register for self-assessment for other reasons; for example –

• You have rental property income over £10,000 before expenses, or £2,500 after expenses
• You earn over £100,000
• You earn £10,000 or more from investment income / £2,500 from untaxed savings and investments
• You have foreign income or need to pay capital gains tax.

HMRC only issue tax returns to those already in the system. If your circumstances change and you need to complete a tax return, the onus is on you to notify HMRC. If you are unsure and would like to discuss, please give us a call.

“stress-free year-end returns and reliable expert advice”


“Tonbridge Accountants transformed my business. With their expertise in finalising company accounts, handling depreciation, and tax returns, I no longer worry about these crucial tasks. Their friendly team, competitive pricing, and flexibility exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend Tonbridge Accountants for stress-free year-end returns and reliable expert advice.”