When you become self-employed, registering for Self Assessment should be top of your to-do list. You need to get it done as quickly as possible, and you’ll get fined if you leave it too long.
The deadline for registration is the 5th of October after the end of the relevant tax year. Make sure you don’t forget!
Do I need to be registered for Self Assessment?
There are a number of different categories who must register for Self Assessment, send Self Assessment tax returns, and pay Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions through Self Assessment, including:
- Self-employed sole traders
- Limited company directors
- Partners (members) in general partnerships and limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
- Employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500/tax year
- Any individual with an annual income over £100,000
- Anyone who receives rental income above £2,500 from UK property or land
How do I register for Self Assessment?
If you are a sole trader or a partner in a business partnership, you can register for Self Assessment on the gov.uk website using the Register for HMRC online services page. Just click here.
You will be required to create a Government Gateway account and password. When you’ve done this, your User ID will be displayed on the screen. Next, you will be asked to give information about yourself and your business to set up your online account and enrol you for the Self Assessment Online Service. The process is simple and should only take 10-15 mins.
Within a few days of receiving your registration, you will receive an acknowledgement letter posted to your business address. The letter will give you your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Make a note of your UTR as you’ll have to provide it when filing tax returns and paying tax.
You’ll receive a second letter shortly afterwards with your Activation Code, which you need to use to activate your online account and file your Self Assessment tax returns. You have 28 days to activate your account, so don’t delay.
How to opt out of Self Assessment
Your tax affairs will change over time, and there may come a time where you no longer need to complete Self Assessment tax return.
You still need to complete a tax return for the year your self-employment ends. You should state the date you stopped being self-employed on your tax return so that the HMRC can close down your Self Assessment record and stop sending you tax return notices in future.
If you’re sent a notice to file a Self Assessment tax return but you consider that you no longer need to complete one, you should contact the HMRC as soon as possible. Once you’ve been issued with a notice to file a tax return, you have to complete it by law, and you’ll be subject to penalties if you fail to do so.
Therefore it’s important to make sure your notice is formally withdrawn, even though you no longer fall under the Self Assessment criteria.
The best way to notify the HMRC that you’re no longer self-employed is to call them on 0300 200 3310 and tell them. You can also de-register as self-employed online by clicking here.
Looking for advice about self assessment? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Give our accounting team at Hammonds Accountants a call on 0203 007 4990 or drop us a line at and we’d be happy to answer all your questions.