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As a freelance photographer, you are responsible both for finding your own photography work and for declaring your income to HMRC. You also have to deduct tax yourself.
If photography is a freelance side-gig to your full-time employment, you can earn up to £1,000 a year tax-free under the Trading Allowance. You also don’t need to complete a tax return.
If you earn more than £1000 a year, you will need to complete a tax return and pay tax at the usual rate that you pay your salary.
|Income||Tax rate||Tax band|
|Up to £12,500||0%||Personal Allowance|
|£12,501 – £50,000||20%||Basic Rate|
|£50,001 – £150,000||40%||Higher Rate|
|£150,000 +||50%||Additional Rate|
If freelance photography accounts for your full-time income, tax works a little differently. You must pay:
Both Class 2 and 4 National Insurance must be paid, even if you earn less than the £12,500 Personal Allowance.
You will also pay both of these if you’re employed alongside your freelance work.
The deadline to register as self-employed is 5th October in any given year.
As a freelance photographer, you can claim back your business expenses and reduce your overall tax bill. It’s really important to keep a record of what you spend as evidence for your tax return.
You may not know that HMRC can come knocking up to 22 months after you pay your tax bill (if you pay by 31st January) and request to see your records!
Here are some expenses that you can claim:
Great! You can start your tax return right away. Sign up to TaxScouts here.