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  • FIRST POST
    Savvy cash
    How much extra income can you earn before being taxed?
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 12, 1:30 PM
    How much extra income can you earn before being taxed? 13th Apr 12 at 1:30 PM
    Hi everyone, apologies if this has already been mentioned:

    I work full time but like a lot of us here, earn small amounts on the side (eg: Ebay, SuperPoints, Swagbucks, Surveys, etc. The list is rapidly growing from all the handy hints on this forum!)

    Is there a certain amount you can earn tax free every month? On top of your primary wage?

    Or do you have to declare everything you earn to the tax man?? Obviously I'm not running a business or anything on the side-just adding to the pot for holidays, car maintenance etc!

    I've been told different things-hence the confusion! Any help would be gratefully received

    Thanks xxx
Page 1
  • Sixer
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 12, 2:33 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 12, 2:33 PM
    You get one tax allowance per year, regardless of how many jobs you do.

    In 2012-13 (tax years begin in April), it's 8,105.

    Each 1 you earn over that - wherever it comes from - is taxable.

    If you do some work that counts as self-employed (eg surveys), you need to inform HMRC and fill out a self-assessment form once a year.
  • ALIBOBSY
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 12, 4:17 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 12, 4:17 PM
    I have always assumed that if the survey sites pay as vouchers (ie amazon/argos etc) its not declarable. I know if you sell your own stuff off on ebay its not counted as "profit" for tax purposes, just if you buy and sell.

    Mind you never looked that far into it as I am currently a SAHM so a non tax payer. Plus not really done much in the way of surveys recently-want to get back into it.

    Ali x
    "Overthinking every little thing
    Acknowledge the bell you cant unring"
  • Savvy cash
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 12, 9:55 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 12, 9:55 PM
    Thanks for both your comments- ALIBOBSY, I thought the same thing about vouchers and not having to declare them...

    Can any other avid survey users comment on this?

    Savvy cash x
  • InsideInsurance
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 12, 11:12 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 12, 11:12 AM
    I work full time but like a lot of us here, earn small amounts on the side (eg: Ebay, SuperPoints, Swagbucks, Surveys, etc. The list is rapidly growing from all the handy hints on this forum!)

    ....

    Obviously I'm not running a business or anything on the side-just adding to the pot for holidays, car maintenance etc!
    Originally posted by Savvy cash
    What are you selling on eBay? If it is your own possessions that you are selling as secondhand then there is no need to declare it. If you are buying things intentionally to sell or if you are making things explicitly to sell then HMRC will see things differently and state that you are a business in the form of a sole trader and thus must register as one for the purposes of NI and doing a self assessment tax return.

    The Class 2 NI is done independently and you can claim small turnover exception.

    The tax return will factor in all of your earnings (employed and self employed) and the tax you have already paid to calculate what taxes are due. As other have said, for income tax there is a single annual allowance for which all income sources are rated against.
  • MoneySaver82
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 12, 12:57 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 12, 12:57 PM
    Hi savvycash,

    I'm in the same situation as you so thought I'd let you know what I've been doing to add to the comments of Sixer and Inside Insurance

    You have to declare everything you earn regardless of whether you will end up paying tax on it or not.


    If you are doing any kind of 'work' which includes surveys, ebay trading (ie buying things specifically to sell them on, not just getting rid of your old stuff) you need to register as self-employed (within 3 months of starting doing this extra work) and then fill in a self-assessment return every year. Sounds worse than it is - but it's really easy to set it all up online and fill in the forms there.


    I just keep a spreadsheet of any money I get from the various survey companies, etc and then tot it all up at the end of the year and then deduct any expenses - eg an tiny allowance for electricity costs for runnning the computer plus printing costs for anything I print out stuff like that. I then end up paying 20% tax on whatever my profit is as I work part time and this takes me over the lower earnings limit (8105 this year) for paying tax anyway and everything above that you pay tax on - usually 20%.

    I wrote to my local tax office asking the question about whether I have to pay tax for payments made by vouchers and had it in writing from them that you have to declare this income too unfortunately. Although other people on here have said their tax office has told them otherwise - if anyone's had this in writing would appreciate knowing so I can challenge what I've been told!?

    Re: NI contributions I got a small earnings exemption certificate for Class 2 contributions as I'm only make a couple of hundred pounds a year on the additional work so nowhere near the limit (5595 for this year).

    I found this page on the HMRC website pretty helpful - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/working/intro/employed-selfemployed.htm

    Hope this helps!
    Survey earnings for 2012-13 year:- 765.82!
  • Timay
    • #7
    • 27th Apr 12, 8:05 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Apr 12, 8:05 PM
    What are you selling on eBay? If it is your own possessions that you are selling as secondhand then there is no need to declare it. If you are buying things intentionally to sell or if you are making things explicitly to sell then HMRC will see things differently and state that you are a business in the form of a sole trader and thus must register as one for the purposes of NI and doing a self assessment tax return.

    The Class 2 NI is done independently and you can claim small turnover exception.

    The tax return will factor in all of your earnings (employed and self employed) and the tax you have already paid to calculate what taxes are due. As other have said, for income tax there is a single annual allowance for which all income sources are rated against.
    Originally posted by InsideInsurance
    Basically it's only if you are selling to make a profit I believe
    Debt
    Barclaycard (0% for 29 months) = 2500
    Barclaycard (0% until September 14) =476.93
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    TOTAL DEBT = 10364 (aim to clear June 16)
    • soolin
    • By soolin 27th Apr 12, 8:23 PM
    • 55,283 Posts
    • 38,624 Thanks
    soolin
    • #8
    • 27th Apr 12, 8:23 PM
    • #8
    • 27th Apr 12, 8:23 PM
    Basically it's only if you are selling to make a profit I believe
    Originally posted by Timay
    Not exactly, any money from trading needs to be declared, so it is possible to be required to declare self employment without actually showing a profit.

    The moment you buy something or make something with the intention of selling it on you are trading.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move posts there. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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  • antrobus
    • #9
    • 29th Apr 12, 10:12 AM
    • #9
    • 29th Apr 12, 10:12 AM
    How much extra income can you earn before being taxed?
    Originally posted by Savvy cash
    Zero. Nada. Rien. (That's the official answer.)

    ... Or do you have to declare everything you earn to the tax man?? ...I've been told different things-hence the confusion!
    Originally posted by Savvy cash
    Yes, you will be told different things. Let's put Ebay to one side - that's a question of whether you're trading or not, and has been answered - and talk about income from the likes of SuperPoints, Swagbucks, Surveys, etc.

    Technically speaking that's taxable income, and should be declared.

    Practically speaking however, you can just ignore it, because HMRC aren't really interested. If HMRC really wanted to, they could approach the likes of Valued Opinions or YouGov and demand a list of people they'd paid, and then approach each one of those people concerned to demand the tax due. HMRC don't do that because they don't want to get an extra 100,000 or more self assessment returns to deal with just so that they can collect an extra 20 or so. It's not worth their while.
    Last edited by antrobus; 29-04-2012 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Removed some junk
  • antrobus
    ...

    I just keep a spreadsheet of any money I get from the various survey companies, etc and then tot it all up at the end of the year and then deduct any expenses - eg an tiny allowance for electricity costs for runnning the computer plus printing costs for anything I print out stuff like that. ...
    Originally posted by MoneySaver82
    A 'tiny allowance' for electricity costs?!?

    I'd start off by claiming at least 150 a year for Business Use of Home. What are you paying for broadband? I'd be claiming back 25% or 50% (maybe more) of that as well. Your computer is now a business asset, so at least a proportion of the cost of buying that asset can be deducted against profits. Etc, etc.

    That's why HMRC isn't really interested. It's not interested in getting 100,000 SA returns all showing 300 of income less 150 for Business Use of Home, 120 for Telecommunications, giving a net profit of 30 and 6 tax due.
  • Marteebies
    Only certainties are death and taxes!!
    2014: 20 voucher from SurveyFriends, 10 cash payout from Panel Opinion too and working towards more from Valued Opinions currently.
    2013: 35 and 50 vouchers from SurveyFriends! More than 15 made from other paid surveys sites (Yougov, Panel Opinion, Valued Opinions, Pinecone, etc.) Happy so far!
  • mamabuddah
    A 'tiny allowance' for electricity costs?!?

    I'd start off by claiming at least 150 a year for Business Use of Home. What are you paying for broadband? I'd be claiming back 25% or 50% (maybe more) of that as well. Your computer is now a business asset, so at least a proportion of the cost of buying that asset can be deducted against profits. Etc, etc.

    That's why HMRC isn't really interested. It's not interested in getting 100,000 SA returns all showing 300 of income less 150 for Business Use of Home, 120 for Telecommunications, giving a net profit of 30 and 6 tax due.
    Originally posted by antrobus
    There are example allowances I believe shown on MSE for running a small business from home, room allocated as office, proportion of electricity, broadband etc, capital allowances for computer / printers etc...but just be careful about declaring you run an office/business from home...there are other implications, none of which are to do with tax returns.
    No two ways about this one: Anything Free is not a Basic Right..it had to be earned...by someone, somewhere
  • MoneySaver82
    A 'tiny allowance' for electricity costs?!?

    I'd start off by claiming at least 150 a year for Business Use of Home. What are you paying for broadband? I'd be claiming back 25% or 50% (maybe more) of that as well. Your computer is now a business asset, so at least a proportion of the cost of buying that asset can be deducted against profits. Etc, etc.

    That's why HMRC isn't really interested. It's not interested in getting 100,000 SA returns all showing 300 of income less 150 for Business Use of Home, 120 for Telecommunications, giving a net profit of 30 and 6 tax due.
    Originally posted by antrobus
    I take your point that I could probably claim a bit more than I have been but don't really think from the HMRC guidance I can justify all the things you mention as I only use the room for a few hours each week to do surveys, etc - I think my situation would be more like Example 1 in this link - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/BIM47825.htm
    So totally agree this would be a fair kind of amount to claim in my situation and thanks for making me thing about this a bit more as it looks fair and they say would be accepted without question - but to start deducting 270 from what I've earned doesn't seem to fit in with what they say is allowable and to be honest doesn't seem like an ethical thing to do, but maybe just me!

    Just think it's not really wise to suggest to people not to bother declaring their income because you feel HMRC won't be interested - I have a funny feeling they might be interested if they suddenly decided they can claim some penalties from you for not having declared your tax for several years!?
    Survey earnings for 2012-13 year:- 765.82!
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