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How do I pay tax as a videographer?

  • 2 min read
  • Last updated 3 Jun 2023

As a freelance filmmaker or videographer, you have to pay taxes like any other sole trader. 

You will need to complete a Self Assessment and then pay tax via a tax return.

How much tax do I pay if I’m also employed?

This depends on how much you earn. 

If you do videography outside your full-time position as a side-gig, you can take advantage of the Trading Allowance. It allows you to earn up to £1,000 on top of your salaried income, tax-free. 

Anything you earn over £1,000 is taxed at the normal rate of tax you pay. If you’re not sure how much you normally pay, take a look at the table below:

IncomeTax rateTax band
Up to £12,5700%Personal Allowance
£12,571 – £50,27020%Basic Rate
£50,271 – £125,14040%Higher Rate
£125,141 +45%Additional Rate
Income tax rates UK

What tax do I pay if I’m a full-time freelance videographer?

If you freelance full time, there are three types of tax that you should pay:

Class 2 National insurance is a fixed rate of £3.45 per week. You only pay it if you earn more than £6,725 per year. Class 4 National Insurance is 9% of your self-employment profits. If you make more than £50,271, the rate is 2%.

To calculate what you owe in Income Tax, check out our Income Tax Calculator. Both Income Tax and National Insurance are only paid on earnings over the tax-free Personal Allowance threshold from July 2022.

Your situation

Outlined number oneOutlined number one
I am
Annual self-employed income
Self-employed expenses

Tax and profit

Outlined number two
  • Total earnings
    £1,000 tax-free Trading Allowance
  • Tax to pay
    £7,286 income tax
    £159 class 2 National Insurance
    £3,549 class 4 National Insurance
  • What you’re left with

How your income tax is calculated

When you’re self-employed, you have to pay your income tax and national insurance contributions yourself in your annual Self Assessment. Our calculator helps you quickly assess how much you owe.

However you may be eligible for a tax refund when:

  1. You already made tax payments for the year but your annual income ended up less than planned
  2. You have done things that qualify for a tax relief (made private pension contributions, given to charity, etc.)

In your case when you earn £50,000:

Income tax breakdown

You pay no income tax on first £12,570 that you make

You pay £7,286 at basic income tax rate (20%) on the next £36,430

National insurance contributions breakdown

No contributions on the first £9,568 that you make

You pay £3,549 in contributions (at 9%) on the next £39,432 that you make

You pay £159 in NI Class 2 contributions

How do videographer expenses work?

You can claim videography and filmmaker expenses against your income to reduce the tax that you pay. It’s really important to record everything that you earn and all of your business spending. If you have an electronic copy of everything, that’s even better, but if you keep paper records, that’s also fine. 

Here’s a list of allowable expenses that you can claim as a videographer:

  • Camera equipment
  • Travel expenses (to shoots or client meetings)
  • Microphone
  • Tool kits
  • Gaffer tape
  • Video software packages
  • Editing software
  • Rent or space hire (for filming on location)
  • Equipment insurance

In fact, you can claim back anything that you can prove was an expense for your videography/filmmaking business.

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