Don’t risk HMRC fines.
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.
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:
|Income||Tax rate||Tax band|
|Up to £12,570||0%||Personal Allowance|
|£12,571 – £50,270||20%||Basic Rate|
|£50,271 – £150,000||40%||Higher Rate|
|£150,000 +||45%||Additional Rate|
If you freelance full time, there are three types of tax that you should pay:
Until July 2022, both Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance had to be paid even if you earned less than the tax-free Personal Allowance, but that changed in Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement 2022.
Class 2 National insurance is a fixed rate of £3.15 per week. You only pay it if you earn more than £11,908 per year. Class 4 National Insurance is 9% of your self-employment profits. You pay it if you make more than £12,570 per year. If you make more than £50,271, the rate is 2%.
Following the 2022 mini-budget and change of government, the NI thresholds have increased, and from April 2023, Class 2 NI will have an increased threshold of £12,570.
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.
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:
In your case when you earn £50,000:
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
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
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:
In fact, you can claim back anything that you can prove was an expense for your videography/filmmaking business.
Sign up for important updates, deadline reminders and basic tax hacks sent straight to your inbox.
"*" indicates required fields