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Self-employment isn’t right for everyone.

But whatever your reason is to stop being self-employed, there are some important steps you need to take to close things off with HMRC and avoid penalties.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you stop being self-employed and de-register with HMRC.

How to Let HMRC know that You’re Stopping Self-Employed

When you registered as self-employed, HMRC began to expect a self-assessment tax return from you by the 31 January each year.

You need to let HMRC know that you are stopping self-employment so that they know to no longer expect a self-assessment tax return and tax payments.

Failing to let them know may result in penalties if you miss a self-assessment filing deadline.

How to De-Register as Self-Employed with HMRC

Firstly you’ll need to contact HMRC to let them know that you are stopping self-employment.

You can deregister as self-employed online using their “Stopping Self-Employment” Form.

Before you fill out the for to deregister it will help you to have your

You’ll also need to tell HMRC the date that you stop self-employment.

Note: HMRC are unable to accept a date earlier than 7 days before the date you stopped self-employment.

Alternatively, if you prefer you can call HMRC on 0300 200 3310.

What Happens Once You De-Register as Self-Employed

Once you have completed the deregistration form, you may still have some legal obligations to fulfil.

Even if you are no longer self-employed and have moved onto other things, you’ll need to make sure you:

  • File your final self-assessment tax return;
  • Pay any outstanding tax and national insurance you owe;
  • Declare any selfemployment income up to the date you deregister as self-employed;
  • Pay tax and national insurance on any self-employment income up to the date you deregister as self-employed.

Remember the taxman can go back 6 years. So even when you have stopped being self-employed make sure you hold onto all your paperwork, in case HMRC decide to open up an investigation.

An example of how to deregister as self-employed

Harry was a Self-Employed Uber driver from 1 May 2017 to 31 August 2018.

On 1 September he went from employed to self-employed and took a full-time job as a Private Driver on a PAYE basis.  

Harry completes the form to deregister as self-employed on 22 September 2018.  

Even though Harry has now cancelled his self-employment, he must still:

  • Complete his self-assessment tax return with his income as an Uber driver during 2017/2018. This is due by 31 January 2018 along with paying any tax and national insurance due;
  • Complete a final self-assessment tax return 2018/2019 with his Uber income from 6 April 2018 to 31 August 2018.  This is due by 31 January 2019 as well as paying any tax and national insurance due.
  • Harry must include his gross earnings from his employment on the final 2018/2019 tax return (in the employment section).  This gives HMRC a full picture of his employment status. He can find all this information on his P60.

Updated 16 July 2019