Tax Advice for Self-Employed Private Tutors

Here’s some tax advice for self-employed private tutors or anyone who is planning to become one.

This tax guide will help you to understand more about:

  • Registering with HMRC;
  • Your responsibilities once you are HMRC registered;
  • The taxes you need to pay;
  • Tax-deductible expenses that reduce your tax bill;
  • Other allowances and reliefs you may be entitled to;
  • Bookkeeping and record-keeping.

Registering with HMRC as a Self-Employed Private Tutor

Whatever you teach, going self-employed is the easiest way to kick start your career as a Private Tutor.

You’ll need to register as self-employed with HMRC and you can do this online yourself.

The deadline to register and avoid automatic penalties is the 5th October in the second tax year that you went self-employed.

A tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April.

So if you started tutoring on 1 December 2018, you’ll need to register by 5th October 2019.

Your HMRC Responsibilities as a Self-Employed Private Tutor

Once registered HMRC will require you to report on your earnings, work out the amount of tax you need to pay and pay that tax over.

This reporting process is called Self Assessment and it involves you needing to fill out a self-assessment tax return form by 31 January each year.

What Taxes Do Self-Employed Private Tutors Paty

Anyone who is self-employed must pay:

  • Income tax;
  • Class 2 national insurance;
  • Class 4 national insurance.

The amount of each of these you pay is calculated on your profits.

That means all you income less all your business expenses as well as any other allowances and reliefs you are entitled to claim.

Any tax and national insurance you owe on your earnings must be paid by 31 January each year.

Depending on how much you earn you may also need to make a Payment on Account, which is a contribution towards your next years tax bill.

Tax Deductible Expenses for Self-Employed Private Tutor

When you are self-employed claiming for all the business expenses you can is the easiest way to reduce your tax bill.

Here are some of the main tax deductible expenses you may need to claim:

  • Stationery;
  • Reference Books;
  • Course Materials;
  • Computer;
  • Printer;
  • Website design, hosting and maintenance;
  • Phone;
  • Internet;
  • Travel;
  • Mileage for using your own car to visit students;
  • Some food;
  • Use of home;
  • Training courses for maintaining your skills;
  • Marketing and PPC;
  • Accountants fees;
  • Bank charges for a business bank account.

There may costs that you use personally and for your tutoring, like your mobile phone.

In these cases, you can only claim a portion as an allowable expense.  

So if you use your mobile phone for 60% work and 40% personal, then you can claim 60% of the total bills against your taxes.

Disallowable Expenses for Self-Employed Private Tutors

Unfortunately, there are some things that you may costs you may face for your private tutoring, that you cannot claim tax relief on.

This includes things like:

Other Allowances and Reliefs Self-Employed Private Tutors Can Claim

Taking advantage of tax reliefs and allowances is another way to reduce your tax bill.

Typical tax reliefs and allowances that self-employed private tutors are entitled to include:

Looking for more ways to Reduce Your Tax Bill? Then read this post

Bookkeeping and Record-Keeping When You’re Self-Employed

One of the keys to reducing your tax bill is to stay on top of your bookkeeping and tacking all your expenses.

You’ll also need to make sure you keep all your receipts support all the expenses you want to claim, as well as details of what you have been paid.

The simplest way to do this is to:

  1. Open up a separate bank account for yourself and set this to send/receive any payments. That way when tax time comes you has a record of everything that has happened.  
  2. Save all your receipts and reports using a bookkeeping app.

Quickbooks is a great option for self-employed people since you can photograph and store your expenses on the go, as well as using the app to automatically track your business mileage.

Updated 12 April 2019


About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek and money nerd helping financial DIY-ers organise their money so they can hit their goals quicker.