There is no strict definition of self employment as opposed to not being self employed however the basic rule is if you have income other than is taxed under the paye system then you may be self employed. If this income is irregular and not part of an ongoing business then you are probably not self employed as such. An alternative to registering as self employed would be to request the Inland Revenue to issue a tax return and declare the additional untaxed income under the category of any other income.

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The first action by anyone self employed in business in regard to his self assessment tax return is to register that self employment with the Inland Revenue. Self employment must be registered within three months of starting business to avoid a late registration penalty fine of 100 pounds. Not all income outside the paye system is considered to be self employment.

If the income is received on a regular basis or is income from a recognisable business or repeated activity then it is likely that business would be classed as self employed. And being self employed you do need to register for self employment within three months as a consequence of which you would receive an inland revenue self assessment tax return to complete each year. If you have any doubts about the status of the income being taxable as any other income or under the self assessment tax return then you should contact the Inland Revenue helpline for further advice.

Completing the self assessment tax return is not difficult although many people who are self employed prefer to leave the task to a tax accountant. While many items on the self assessment tax return involve details of income and expenses which require little knowledge of accounting there are areas which require some understanding of the tax system.

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The inland revenue self assessment tax return can be completed if the accompanying notes are read thoroughly and those notes that a

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