Folksy Ltd

HMRC home workers

I know subject has probably be done to death but this is worth reading, so I thought I would share it.


Thanks Brenda for that link. It is so important to register with HMRC and it’s an easy task to complete a tax return online each year if you keep accurate records.


Very interesting!
I read it cos I’m thinking of starting a second business which will be completely different, so I’m thinking I am going to have to notify them. Its been a while since I set up a business. I think I just phoned them last time to register my business name etc.

Great article. I think I might set up as a ‘sole trader’, but to be honest it’s more of a hobby than a business - I’m so far in minus profit for this tax year! - but it is very interesting keeping a record of how much you are spending (obviously I’m spending far too much on material and not sewing quick enough!).


If you make a loss on the sewing you can count it against the income from other sources in the same tax year thus (probably) getting tax back (and we all like a bit of money back). If you have no income from other sources in the same tax year as the sewing loss you can carry the loss forward and count it against profits from the sewing in future years. So definately worth registering.


Even if you think you make a loss, you still have to register because you are making to sell. If you’re working from home you also have your electricity, phone, internet etc. to offset against any profits you make. If you are selling something you have made you are in business, even if it’s a hobby. To my mind it’s not worth the risk.

The government need more cash in their coffers, so anyone making to sell and not declaring the income is an easy target.

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I’ve shared the link on a couple of other sites where I know people don’t declare their extra income. Some just aren’t aware that they have to, others don’t care. I wouldn’t specifically report anyone to HMRC for illegal trading, but I think it’s fair to spread the word for those who just don;t realise what the penalty could be.

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indeed Sara for those that don’t know and could get themselves into big trouble I think it only right to point them in the right direction.

I did look into everything I could before I set up my shop but not everyone does in fact I doubt many have any idea what they are doing when they decide to make things to sell.

Look on here there are sellers who are are contravining Trademark and copyright right laws some of course will know that and don’t care and think they’ll get away with it while other’s who just don’t know the law.

There’s ‘Fan art’ on here it shouldn’t be as it’s Fan art ie you do it for yourself you can’t do it to sell without the pop star, movie, movie star, TV’s series written permission/licence but hay people are doing it on here.

I often wonder if I should let them know or not. If they are new I don’t bother as I’ve not spoken to them so wasn’t sure what sort of reaction I might get from them. Now if it’s someone I know/have spoken to them I’d let them know via pm as I’d not want them to get into trouble.

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I think that one of the biggest problems is whether or not to point out to people that they are breaking the law. On the other hand, we are doing the right thing and declaring what we earn…at least our consciences are clear.

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I was terrified of registering, I’m terrible with numbers! But bit the bullet and have my first return to do this April, I’m still scared, but I don’t have any chance in being over the tax threshold, so at least I can’t panic about that, or being fined!

I think they can still fine you if you are late submitting your return even if you owe nothing. You get additional fines if you do owe something and you are late paying it. Its best to get organised with everything in a spreadsheet which you update as the year goes on, you can then get the spreadsheet to do any sums for you.

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completely correct the late filling fee is was £100 but it might be more now as that was about 3years ago I think,

Remember if you register to do it online you have longer time to get it in and it prompts you as you go along. If you get a bit wrong if won’t let you go to the next page and tells you want’s wrong and you can go back to the bit you’ve done wrong.

When I do it online I get hubbie to sit next to me with his pc so he can follow the online help files in case I not sure quite what they are asking for. Then he can look at the correct bit in the help file and tell me what it means.

It also allows you to do a few page save it them logg out and then log back in again later and continue from where you left off.

I tend to do all my sums before hand and have them written down on a seperate piece of paper from my account file so I have the totals ready.

Mine’s a bit longer than most as I’m a landlady and I have overseas shares in a Canadian bank which all has to be declared on the right bits of the form.

You do have to wait for your online security number to arrive in the post before you can start filling in your online post. Once you’ve applied for it online it usually takes 7 days before it arrives onto your doormat.

Once you have it you don’t have to have your online form completed and hit send/completed untill the 30January 2017 for the tax year april 2015 to april 2016. This means you have plenty of time to check and recheck you’ve done it right and plenty of time to ring the if you need help and can’t understand their online help files.

If you do it by the paper form you don’t have as long a time to complete it and I think it’s harder if you make a mistake. So much easier to redo bits when it’s online.

I hope that helps


I am SO glad that I have a friend who is an accountant and does mine for me

I have a friend who sits with me when I file my return- just to double check I don’t make any silly errors. I find this helps tremendously with my peace of mind, even though I’m nowhere near the tax threshold either.

It’s not as scary as it sounds (if anyone’s new to it and finding it a bit of a worry).

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Numbers aren’t my best area either.

I always feel quite anxious about filling the forms in, but my Husband tends to sit with me so I can ask for help & advice.
I struggle also with my OCD when doing a task like that so I’m checking, checking & checking again until I feel like bursting into tears.
I convince myself I will get it all wrong.
This year will be my third assessment. I’m hoping for a smidge of profit, but I’m not quite there yet.


If you fill it in online then it’s not too difficult and you don’t need a complicated accounts system, it’s not worth risking a fine by not registering

I used to do mine on paper for the first few years I was a Childminder but once I’d done my first online return there was no way I was going back to paper, so much easier and no worrying they were going to send it back to me with mistakes on it :slightly_smiling:

The online form is so much easier and really nothing to worry about. If you’ve kept a record of what you’ve earned and what you’ve spent that’s all there is to it.

The paper one was much more of a nightmare, so many extra pages you didn’t need to fill in but you still had to read them to make sure, and then with it being on paper you have to rely on them getting it into the system accurately. Years ago I was sent a huge tax demand because they had entered my (day job) wages as 31K instead of 13K. The form I had filled in was right, I knew I didn’t owe anything, but it took a while to work out what had gone wrong. So, online is definitely the way to go.

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Hi, I am very much in the same situation as you. I phoned and registered by phone - no hassle and I have found it easy to complete Tax return online. My expenses far outweighs my Income. One word of warning - Year before last I completed my return online thought I had pressed the ‘send’ button BUT I had not! I must have got interrupted. Come February a Brown Envelope landed on the mat - a fine of £100 for not completing and sending my tax return by 31st January. I had no acceptable excuse so had to pay the £100!!

Oh no :open_mouth:

I always do a print at the end as they give you that option.

I always worry that something might go wrong ie connection might be lost or corruption with the site but thankfully it does auto save so if that did happen you can go back a wee bit later and find most or all has been saved and you don’t have to start all over again.