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When do I register the new business

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Hi, hoping someone can help. 
I'm employed full time and last year opened an etsy shop for fun and the possibility of additional income. I was below the £1000 hobby threshold for 2019/20 and so didn't register as a small business and am planning to note the total earned in the additional information section when I fill in my tax return next week (I still due a tax return due to previous self employment several years ago). Is it correct to put the info here or do I not need to declare it as it is below £1000?
For 2020/21 I have now passed the £1000 income limit and will be claiming it an income/expenses rather than not paying tax on the first £1000 of income (I've now made some reasonable investment in stock/materials which makes this worthwhile). My question is that I now need to register as self-employed, but when do I backdate this too? The start of the 2020 tax year?
I've also always been confused with NI. Is it right that I will be paying through my employment, plus a weekly NI fee once registered as self employed?
Any advice gratefully received - thanks


  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You don't need to tell HMRC about the trading income if it is below £1000, so there is no need to declare it on your self assessment form. You don't need to register as a sole trader until your income exceeds £1000, so in theory, you could go all the way through the tax year and not register until the last day, providing your income hasn't exceeded £1000 - if your income exceeds £1000 on the last day you need to register then, but will be out of time to do so, so you need to a bit proactive about  it. 

    As you are already completing a SA Tax return, I can't see any reason to delay registration, and it might be a good idea to register before 6th April 2021, and enter your trading income for this year on your return. As it will be within the trading allowance, you won't pay tax, but you will be fully set up for next year and will have already figured out which box to enter your trading income into.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • edited 12 January at 6:21PM
    oldbikeblokeoldbikebloke Forumite
    1K posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 12 January at 6:21PM
    re NI
    as you appreciate NI is deducted on your salary, no choice over that

    The first thing to understand about NI is it is how you become entitled to state benefits, the obvious one being state pension. To get that you must have earned a certain amount of income in the year either through PAYE or via self employment.
    If your employment income is above the LEL (lower earnings limit) threshold of £120 per week or £520 per month depending on whether you are paid weekly or monthly. If yes, then you do not get any extra benefit from paying NI on your self employment - so if you don't have to, don't voluntarily pay NI on self employment!
    The second thing is NI is a tax, and therefore there comes a point where you have no choice but to pay it. For self employment that means when your PROFITS exceed one or both of the thresholds for the 2 different Self employment classes!

    class 2 - which is indeed a weekly value, but you pay it as a single lump sum at 52 x the weekly amount as part of your tax return. For 20/21 the threshold is £6,475 and will cost £158.60 (52 x £3.05), if your profits are above that, you must pay that amount, no choice.

    class 4 - you pay this only when you SE profits are higher than a different threshold. For 20/21 you will pay 9% of the amount of your profits between £9,500 - £50,000. Any profits above £50k, you will pay at 2% instead on that excess. 

    so... 3 permutations for self employed NI
    a) profits < £6,475 = you do not have to pay any NI on them. You would only voluntarily do so if your employment income was too low to get you the NI credits towards your pension etc,
    b) Profits between 6,475 - 9,500 = pay £158.60 class 2 
    c) profits >£9,500 = pay £158.60 class 2 + 9% (and 2% if applic) class 4 

    Rates and allowances: National Insurance contributions - GOV.UK (
    If I include a blue link in my post, click and read it before posting a follow up question. The answer will be in the link.
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