Can I be both employed and self-employed?

We've updated this guide on 4th July 2019

Being both full-time employed and self-employed is actually quite common, so the short answer is yes.

Let’s look at some situations.

A. Being full-time employed and self-employed on the side

For example: Rebecca works as a full-time developer for TaxScouts but she also writes software for her own clients via PeoplePerHour — she needs to register as self-employed and pay tax on this income.

What you need to do:

  1. check if you need to register
  2. register as a sole trader with the HMRC
  3. make sure your tax code is correct
  4. submit a personal tax return each year for your self-employment income.

How much tax will you pay?

Tax Who pays
Income tax for salary Your employer
Income tax for self-employment profits (minus claimable expenses) You
Class 1 National Insurance contributions Your employer
Class 2 and 4 National Insurance contributions You

B. Working through an umbrella company

An umbrella company is a business that acts as an employer to freelancers:

  • Your client pays it for your work
  • The umbrella company pays you a salary and takes care of taxes via PAYE.

What you need to do:

  • check with your umbrella company — they should pay taxes for you.

C. Not being sure if you’re an employee or subcontractor

What you need to do:

D. Doing business through your own limited company

In this case you’re actually both an owner (“shareholder”) and employee of your own company (“director”), but not self-employed.

What you need to do:

  • submit a company tax return each year
  • the company will pay tax on its profits first (minus costs, including salaries)
  • either pay yourself a salary (and pay taxes through PAYE) or an annual dividend (and pay dividend tax), or both
  • submit a personal tax return as well if your dividends are over £10,000.

Need help with your tax return?

Get your self assessment prepared for you online by certified accountants for £119

Online self assessment preparation assisted by professional accountants

How TaxScouts works

Simple online tax assessment

1. Simple online tax assessment

Our online tax-bot will go over your tax situation and will make sure you won’t overpay your taxes.

Chat to human advisors

2. Chat to human advisors

You can talk to one of our tax assistants at any time during the process when you have any questions.

We’ll sort your documents online

3. We’ll sort your documents online

We’ll tell you exactly what documents you need and sort them for you online. You just upload them or snap a picture with your phone.

Everything gets prepared for you

4. Everything gets prepared for you

Your certified accountant will go over your details & prepare your tax return for you to review. It will be filed on your behalf once you approve it.

"Absolutely outstanding"
Very quick turnaround, all my questions answered almost immediately and brilliant value.
Aimee J
"A quick and reliable service"
My self assessment tax return completed within 2-3 days. I'll definitely be using TaxScouts again and recommend to family and friends.
"Smooth and easy process"
Smooth and easy process. Will use every year! Very helpful staff as well!
Oliver J W

Who our service is for

First time tax filers

We have a simple online service that guides you through the entire process. Regardless of your reasons for doing your tax return we'll help you get it done right.

Construction workers

We'll prepare your self assessment and help to maximise your CIS tax refund. We have the lowest fees in the industry and you don't have to pay up front if you're eligible for a refund.

People living overseas

Our service allows people living abroad to prepare their income tax return online. We are able to process all returns regardless of your current country of residence.

Company directors

UK company directors are required to file their self assessment annually. TaxScouts handles this through a simple online process.


Long Lets, Airbnb, Capital Gains. TaxScouts will sort out your self assessment and take away the worry of tracking all the recent tax changes.


TaxScouts ensures the self employed don't overpay on their taxes. We'll help you benefit from all the tax breaks and deductions that can be applied to your return.

And for everyone else who needs to do their self assessment

At TaxScouts we appreciate that tax returns are highly individual. Before you get assigned an accountant we make sure to understand your circumstances and help you build your optimal tax profile.

Let's start by creating your account

What happens next

  • We'll ask you a couple of short questions
  • Then we'll tell you what documents we need
  • Finally one of our qualified accountants will file your tax return