Getting help with tax and benefits if you're self-employed

When you are self-employed, you are responsible for paying your own taxes. It can also affect the benefits you receive.

Help available with tax on the Government website.

What you need to do if you become self-employed

You will need to do things like:

  • keep records of money coming in and going out of your business
  • register as self-employed
  • submit a tax return
  • pay National Insurance

If you need help, look at the sources of advice and information:

Help and support starting your business

A work coach at your local job centre can help you to find support and funding.

You can search for organisations that provide finance and support for local businesses (GOV.UK).

You may be able to apply for Access to Work funding and support.

The Federation of Small Businesses offers a range of practical support and information for members.

The New Enterprise Allowance can help you start your business and access mentoring. You may also get:

  • a grant worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks
  • a loan to help with start-up costs

You can get help with what benefits you can claim when you’re self-employed from Scope’s benefits advisors on the online community.

Find out what benefits you can claim (calculator).

Hiring an accountant

An accountant can help you to:

  • claim tax-deductible business expenses and special tax allowances
  • focus on running your business by saving you time and stress
  • and helping you to fill in complex forms

Hiring the right accountant can be even more important than hiring a member of staff. Ask them about their experience, and what they can do for you. Recommendations by family, friends and professional people you know can be a good place to start.

You can also search online for accountants in your area. If you do so then you need to make sure that they are reliable and legitimate. One way to do this is to ensure that they are a chartered accountant. This means that they have completed at least 3 years of training and exams. Chartered accountants are accredited by firms like the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

Search for a chartered accountant (ICAEW)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 09/05/2019

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