I didn’t register for Self Assessment

I was 17 when I first started working and didn’t register. I’m now finishing uni and am concerned.

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I am concerned about my situation as I started working when I was 17 in a job where I was told to invoice my boss to get paid. However I was never informed about taxes or anything - I simply didn't earn enough to be told about it. Come to present day and I'm finishing university, still in the same job however I'm more aware now and this tax year I believe I may have come close / surpassed the tax free figure (£12,000~?). This leads to my issue: I went to register to be safe however when doing so the form dictates that I say when I started trading. Now I believe this date to be roughly July 2017. However this would suggest that I didn't supply a self assessment for near 6 years (I understand now that I can fill in for 2022-23 if I register by October). In this case what do I do? Do I register with the original date (o believe this Is the right action?) or what is my course of action. I haven't got the finances to pay any "penalties" but I want to make sure I'm doing this correct if it's going to be my main income going forward. Thank you for any help.

Replies (12)

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By Hugo Fair
03rd Apr 2023 00:13

Let's start at the beginning ... way before worrying about Self Assessment ... you open by saying "I started working when I was 17 in a job where I was told to invoice my boss to get paid. Come to present day and I'm finishing university, still in the same job."

So what makes you think (and more importantly makes your 'boss' think) that you haven't been an employee all this time?

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By rmillaree
03rd Apr 2023 09:05

Rules are same for you as anyone in business -if you have no had employment income or other taxable income relevant important thresholds are detailed below - profits above these levels would require class2NI payment (that may be in your interests to pay as its cheap NI)

2017 to 2018 (note 12) 2018 to 2019 (note 12) 2019 to 2020 (note 12) 2020 to 2021 (note 12) 2021 to 2022 (note 12) 2022 to 2023 (note 12)
£6,025 £6,205 £6,365 £6,475 £6,515 £6,725

next trheshold is clas4NI threshold 9% onprofits above amounts below

2017 to 2018 (note 12) 2018 to 2019 (note 12) 2019 to 2020 (note 12) 2020 to 2021 (note 12) 2021 to 2022 (note 12) 2022 to 2023 (note 12)
£8,164 £8,424 £8,632 £9,500 £9,568 £11,908

for each year you need to work out profits and compare with above totals - note you can claim fixed 1k deduction from income - so incoem below 7k for any tax year combnined with no other icnoem woudl mean you owe no tax or NI - above that and you will owe summit.

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By tom123
03rd Apr 2023 09:19

I think Hugo was going more with the unscrupulous (older?) boss ripping off naive junior staff.

You (shouldn't) just be told you are "self employed" because it suits the boss - or else wouldn't we all be like that?

Well done to the OP for trying to straighten his affairs out - but I'm fairly sure that there is a lot of this going on in UK plc.

I would say this was probably a straightforward employment - and the boss is the one liable for all the tax and NI he did not pay.

Having said that - not sure what the next steps should be, of course, particularly as the employment seems to be continuing.

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Replying to tom123:
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By Leywood
03rd Apr 2023 09:22

+1.

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By Leywood
03rd Apr 2023 09:21

Did you miss said income off your student loan applications as well?

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By frankfx
03rd Apr 2023 09:32

OP

Reach out to the Student Union
They should be able to refer you to some free advice.

The University may human resources that you could access.

Your employer / work engager could well be at fault.

The engager has a formal obligation in law to ascertain your work status.
he may have side stepped that obligation.

With consequences that may ultimately come back to bite him.

Please take formal advice it will put you at ease.

Let us know how you get on.

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By JRWatson27
03rd Apr 2023 09:54

Talking I was initially paid cash in hand as I was younger and the work was infrequent. Then it became more frequent and I started sending invoices in 2019. There have been some new starters coming in who are both younger again, however they have been instructed that they need to register for self employment and send invoices to be paid. This was also what prompted me to register. So I’m unsure if it was the employer being unaware or simply assuming I would do this myself.

All my income was included in my student loan application. I don’t think I gave an exact figure for it as an exact figure wasn’t necessary (if I recall correctly)

My annual pay from 19 onwards (I have invoice evidence) for each year was approximately
2.5k for 19-20
2.5k for 20-21
6k for 21-22
12k for 22-23

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Replying to JRWatson27:
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By rmillaree
03rd Apr 2023 10:02

Talking I was initially paid cash in hand as I was younger and the work was infrequent.

Errr you have the same reporting requirements whether you are paid paid cash or not - at the end of teh day its your job to report self employed income. Note if you were employee things could be different

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Replying to JRWatson27:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
03rd Apr 2023 10:08

You have no potential tax liability other than for 22/23 if this is your only earned income. (ie you don't have another PAYE job on the side)

However the main question is "are you really an employee?"

A "boss" can't tell you you are self employed. That sentence suggests this is not self employment, but a job and they should be running a PAYE scheme.

Fake self employment is endemic in the UK however, and HMRC seem not to care too much.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By SteveHa
03rd Apr 2023 10:57

@OP, this is the fourth response telling you that your employment status is not a matter of choice. You would really do well to take it on board.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By kenny achampong
03rd Apr 2023 13:25

Plenty of bosses at all levels frequently tell people they are self-employed. There's absolutely nothing the employee can do about that apart from declaring the money and paying the tax, which is what this person is doing.

HMRC do care, it's just that department and all other departments are "working from home" so it's safe for him to start declaring it as self-employment from 2022-23 (unless he's a celebrity presenter on TV of course)

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By Catherine Newman
04th Apr 2023 08:30

Hang on a moment everybody.

We don't know the terms of the engagement. What are the terms of the engagement.
Is the OP offered work as and when required. Is he/she free to turn it down if unavailable? Ditto other workers?

OP has used the word job but when people work they call it a job.

OP pm if you would like to discuss it.

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