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Tax on survey incomes

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I'm rather confused about the tax implications of surveys. Martin says that you can get £1000 before you need to declare it to HMRC. Does this include vouchers for Amazon and the like or are they excluded? Similarly, what about prepaid MasterCard's derived from your points? Do they count as income?  I'm assuming online study groups are counted if they pay you cash.  Once that has been established, how do you go about declaring this? Do you need to register as self employed now or just wait and see I if I'm near  limit. April to April if you are anywhere near the 1000 later in the year. Finally, what level of tax do you pay on the money and is it  on what your earnings or removes on a clip to paste it in the text lol
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  • libra10
    libra10 Posts: 18,882 Forumite
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    I also wondered about this.
  • mybestattempt
    mybestattempt Posts: 192 Forumite
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    edited 13 May at 5:31AM
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    Amazon etc. vouchers and prepaid cards are moneysworth, so are included as income.

    If/when your income from surveys, online studies etc. exceeds the £1000 trading allowance in tax year to 5th April for the first time you have six months to inform HMRC and register for self assessment:

    https://www.gov.uk/register-for-self-assessment


    The taxable income is added all other sources of taxable income to establish your tax liability.

  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 47,396 Ambassador
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    edited 12 May at 4:41PM
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    Anything that pays in cash (bank transfer/ paypal etc) or has the option to pay in tax is counted against the £1000 allowance. Anything where the only option is for vouchers for shops/ restaurants etc doesn't count. 

    So if you have the choice of a voucher for amazon or a bank transfer it counts, even if you choose the voucher. Anything where the only option is a voucher doesn't count. 

    hmrc guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim100150


    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and 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.
  • mybestattempt
    mybestattempt Posts: 192 Forumite
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    edited 13 May at 6:14AM
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    silvercar said:
    Anything that pays in cash (bank transfer/ paypal etc) or has the option to pay in tax is counted against the £1000 allowance. Anything where the only option is for vouchers for shops/ restaurants etc doesn't count. 

    So if you have the choice of a voucher for amazon or a bank transfer it counts, even if you choose the voucher. Anything where the only option is a voucher doesn't count. 

    hmrc guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim100150



    I'm a little unsure, but I think you are saying where there is a vouchers only option these are not taxable income.

    If so, that isn't correct, vouchers which have a monetary value are moneysworth.

    Receipts in the form of moneysworth for doing surveys are trading receipts:

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim40051




  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 47,396 Ambassador
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    silvercar said:
    Anything that pays in cash (bank transfer/ paypal etc) or has the option to pay in tax is counted against the £1000 allowance. Anything where the only option is for vouchers for shops/ restaurants etc doesn't count. 

    So if you have the choice of a voucher for amazon or a bank transfer it counts, even if you choose the voucher. Anything where the only option is a voucher doesn't count. 

    hmrc guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim100150



    I'm a little unsure, but I think you are saying where there is a vouchers only option these are not taxable income.

    If so, that isn't correct, vouchers which have a monetary value are moneysworth.

    Receipts in the form of moneysworth for doing surveys are trading receipts:

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim40051




    If it cannot be converted to money (or moneysworth) then it isn’t  taxable, vouchers which are restricted in where they can be used are not money.
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and 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.
  • mybestattempt
    mybestattempt Posts: 192 Forumite
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    edited 14 May at 7:32AM
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    I'm sorry but I don't understand your thinking here.

    A voucher which can be used to buy goods or services is moneysworth, what else could it be?

    If you buy an item, in say M&S which costs £50, then pay £30 in cash and £20 with a M&S voucher (received for doing surveys) the voucher is worth £20.
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 47,396 Ambassador
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    edited 14 May at 8:19AM
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    I'm sorry but I don't understand your thinking here.

    A voucher which can be used to buy goods or services is moneysworth, what else could it be?

    If you buy an item, in say M&S which costs £50, then pay £30 in cash and £20 with a M&S voucher (received for doing surveys) the voucher is worth £20.
    The issue is that it is restricted to M&S. It cannot be converted into money. (and arguably, if food costs half the price in Lidl, that £20 voucher is only worth £10 if you shopped elsewhere).

    In the link I posted - "
    Example
    A non-transferable holiday offered as an alternative to a sum of money as payment for a ‘story’ by a newspaper is taxable as miscellaneous income. The sum for assessment being the amount of the cash alternative.
    A non-transferable holiday provided, with no cash alternative, as payment for a ‘story’ by a newspaper is not taxable as miscellaneous income as it cannot be converted into money.

    you can see that the holiday that can be an alternative to a sum of money is assessed as that sum of money. The holiday without a cash alternative is not taxable as it cannot be converted to money.


    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and 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.
  • welshman5555
    welshman5555 Posts: 6 Forumite
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    Okay thanks. I think I understand all that. But dues anyone know the actual amount you would pay in tax if you go over the £1000? Do you pay on the whole amount or only on the excess over the £1000 and at what rate? This info may be in the links, I havent had chance to look yet so sorry if it is already. Tell me if it is.
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 47,396 Ambassador
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    Okay thanks. I think I understand all that. But dues anyone know the actual amount you would pay in tax if you go over the £1000? Do you pay on the whole amount or only on the excess over the £1000 and at what rate? This info may be in the links, I havent had chance to look yet so sorry if it is already. Tell me if it is.
    You have 2 options:

    a) you pay tax at your marginal rate on everything over £1000, no expenses allowed.

    b) you don't use the allowance at all. Count your income less your expenses and pay tax on the difference. 

    If your expenses were high, then (b) would be better eg making crafts on etsy may have high material costs. Whereas doing surveys on your phone may have no expenses so you would choose option (a).
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and 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.
  • welshman5555
    welshman5555 Posts: 6 Forumite
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    silvercar said:
    Okay thanks. I think I understand all that. But dues anyone know the actual amount you would pay in tax if you go over the £1000? Do you pay on the whole amount or only on the excess over the £1000 and at what rate? This info may be in the links, I havent had chance to look yet so sorry if it is already. Tell me if it is.
    You have 2 options:

    a) you pay tax at your marginal rate on everything over £1000, no expenses allowed.

    b) you don't use the allowance at all. Count your income less your expenses and pay tax on the difference. 

    If your expenses were high, then (b) would be better eg making crafts on etsy may have high material costs. Whereas doing surveys on your phone may have no expenses so you would choose option (a).
    silvercar said:
    Okay thanks. I think I understand all that. But dues anyone know the actual amount you would pay in tax if you go over the £1000? Do you pay on the whole amount or only on the excess over the £1000 and at what rate? This info may be in the links, I havent had chance to look yet so sorry if it is already. Tell me if it is.
    You have 2 options:

    a) you pay tax at your marginal rate on everything over £1000, no expenses allowed.

    b) you don't use the allowance at all. Count your income less your expenses and pay tax on the difference. 

    If your expenses were high, then (b) would be better eg making crafts on etsy may have high material costs. Whereas doing surveys on your phone may have no expenses so you would choose option (a).
    Okay. So if I made 1200, say, including vouchers etc and chose a then I would be taxed on the £200? Do I declare £200 or £1200 and they discount the £1000? And what tax rate is on the £200? Ta.
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