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NI and Tax

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cas42 | 19:20 Wed 05th Jan 2011 | Business & Finance
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Hi - I currently work part-time (7.5hrs a week) and pay NI but not tax. I have now also become an agent for a Internet Bookshop, where I purchase the books and scan them on the computer. Upon receipt of an order I have to pack and despatch the books. Every month, the Company I am an agent for pays me a nominal amount for each book and postage charges. I am keeping a record of all my expenditure and the payments received. Obviously I will have to pay NI and possibly tax on any earnings. Can anyone please confirm how I go about this - do I have to have an accountant - and is there a certain time of the year when I have to arrange this? Do I have to let the tax office know about these earnings now? Thanks for any advice.

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As to the questions:
As others have said, you don't pay NI on earnings until you earn £110 per week. If you are paying NI at the moment you are getting a tremendous hourly rate for part time work.

You are required to register as self employed with the Revenue by three months after you began trading at the latest. You can do this yourself by contacting them...
22:58 Wed 05th Jan 2011
The HMRC will be able to advise. I expect they will send you a tax form
Surely you shouldn't be paying NI on a 7.5 hour week (unless you are on a very good hourly rate)
do you mean you've been paying your class 4 stamp (or is it class 2?)
Hope someone is also paying copyright charges for the books as it does seem to be you, as a sole-trader agent, doing the copying.
Cas If you are scanning the books into the computer then sending copies that is illegal unless you own the copyright or have an agreement with the copyright holder. If you are simply selling second hand books you need to be registered as self employed. You need to do this within 3 months of starting . Contact Inland Revenue and they are very helpful and will tell you all you need to do. You will need to submit income and expenditure to them anually but again they will help if you ask. You wont need an accountant for such a small enterprise. I would also add you shouldnt be paying NI on 7.5hours a week unless you are earning a huge hourly rate.
Unless of course you are self employed already and paying class 2 contributions?
I'm presuming cas42 means that they scan the barcode of the books into a computer for catalogue / stock purposes. If they are physically packing and despatching books there's be no point in wasting hours scanning pages into a computer first.
As to the questions:
As others have said, you don't pay NI on earnings until you earn £110 per week. If you are paying NI at the moment you are getting a tremendous hourly rate for part time work.

You are required to register as self employed with the Revenue by three months after you began trading at the latest. You can do this yourself by contacting them directly or an accountant will handle things for you. Up to you, depends how much it's worth to you to avoid the hassle.

You don't have to pay any NI on your self employed earnings unless you are making a fair bit from it. NI is paid based on earnings per "job". However you will likely have to pay tax unless combined earnings from all taxable sources are less than your personal allowances. You'll have to do a tax return. Tax returns must be completed by 31st January for the year ended 5th April in the previous year. So if you were trading before 5th April 10 you will need to do one imminently. If not then there's no panic at all but that doesn't get you off the hook for letting the Revenue know within three months that you are actually trading.
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Thanks everyone for all your advice- this has been most helpful. I don't know what made me think I was paying NI but I have since looked at my wage slips and I am not paying this. As for scanning the books, I did not explain this properly, I am just scanning the barcodes for stocking purposes. Thanks again.

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