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Many freelancers opt to ‘test the water’ by working in their spare time to start with, whilst also remaining in full time employment. This gives them the option to see if a freelancing business is viable, before giving up the day job. In fact it is often an excellent way to start!

You do not have to tell your employer you are freelancing part time if you do not wish to although it is sometimes advisable in case of any potential conflict or clauses in your contract.

If you choose to freelance part time then the simplest route is often to become a sole trader. All you have to do to register is to let HMRC know by filling in a CWF1 form within 3 months of you setting up.

After the end of the tax year, which is 5th April, you then have to complete a Personal Tax Return which declares your business profit – which is, in effect, your income or ‘payment’ for the year. This is the figure you will be taxed on and you are responsible for your own Self Assessment Tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions.

Using an accountant will ensure that you do not put yourself at risk to the various HMRC penalties and end up having to pay interest that is charged for late registration, late submission of tax returns and late payments of tax.

If you are considering freelancing on the side of your full time job then the following pages may also be helpful:

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