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In the UK, if you’re a tattoo artist, you usually rent space in a tattoo studio. Tattoo artists are therefore not often employed by the studios but work for themselves instead.
If you’re starting out as a tattoo artist, you should consider:
Often, tattoo artists’ income is not purely made from doing tattoos. You can make money from any merchandise that you sell (e.g. t-shirts, posters and prints etc.) which will also be included in your tax return.
When it comes to tax, it’s pretty simple, even though it may seem confusing if you’ve not had to do it before.
Here are a few calendar deadlines to remember:
In terms of which specific taxes you owe, there are two to be aware of:
Income Tax is paid by everyone – employed or self-employed – depending on how much you earn each tax year. The rates generally change every April following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Budget.
The rates for the 2023/24 tax year are as follows:
|Up to £12,570||0%||Personal allowance|
|£12,571 to £50,270||20%||Basic rate|
|£50,271 to £125,140||40%||Higher rate|
|over £125,141||45%||Additional rate|
There are multiple types of National Insurance, but if you work as a self-employed tattoo artist, there are just two types that you’ll need to pay in your tax return.
As we said earlier, you can claim your business expenses against your income to reduce your tax bill.
That’s why it’s really important that you keep a record of everything that you spend and earn. Ideally, doing this digitally is much easier to manage, but it’s up to you how to track your business finances.
In terms of what you’re allowed to expense, it’s at the discretion of HMRC to decide what’s an allowable expense. The guideline to use is whether it’s a genuine and necessary spend on your business. If it is, you should be able to expense it.
Here are a few examples of what tattoo artists often expense:
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