I am self-employed but make less than the personal allowance of £11,000. The government website says my income band is taxed at 0%.

Do I still have to register as a sole trader and file a tax return?

Note: I live in England.

Also, closely related, I may soon start to earn additional money through another job, but again, my earning from self-employment won't affect my tax band. Will I have to do tax returns then?


Let's have a look at Who must send a tax return:

You’ll need to send a tax return if, in the last tax year:

  • you were self-employed

And we're done. It doesn't matter that your tax will come out to zero - you still need to TELL them this, otherwise how are they going to know? 'Person liable for zero tax who doesn't send their tax return' and 'Person liable for a million quid of tax who doesn't send their tax return' look the same...

  • 1
    Also the tax bands depend on total income so if you earn more it will affect your tax band
    – mmmmmm
    May 5 '16 at 12:12
  • Yes, but "person with PAYE earnings and £100K of offshore investment income" and "person with PAYE earnings and no offshore income" also look the same, but only the former has to do a tax return.
    – Mike Scott
    Mar 31 '17 at 10:07

Your taxable income is your total income from however many sources of income you have. If you are in employment and doing self-employed job at the same time, your taxable income will be a combination of both incomes. For example if in employment you make £10000 and self employed you make another £10000 - your total income is £20000 and this is your taxable income.

And even if your self-employed job does not bring you more than personal allowance, how would HMRC know that without you filling-in tax return?

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