Tax Advice for Freelance Make Up Artists

Tax Advice for Freelance Make Up Artists

Freelance Make Up Artist? Here is our tax advice guide just for you. Whether you are starting out or just want to understand more about allowable expenses, here are some useful tips specifically for freelance make up artists.


Let’s start by summarising the four essential elements of Self Employment:

  1. Visit the HMRC website and register as Self Employed;
  2. Keep a list and receipts of all business income and expenses;
  3. Complete Self Assessment before 31 January each year summarising your business income and expenses;
  4. Pay any Tax and National Insurance due by 31 January each year (and payments on account by 31 January and 31 July each year).

Register with HMRC as a Self Employed Make Up Artist

Whether you are a mobile make up artist, rent a room at a salon or have a make up room at home going self employed is the easiest way to kick start your career as a make up artist.

First things first, you must register with HMRC for Self Assessment and Class 2 National Insurance. This should be done as soon as possible after starting work as a Self Employed Make Up Artist but HMRC rules are that you must register by 5 October in your business’s second tax year.

What is Class 2 National Insurance?

What is Class 4 national insurance?

You can register online as a Freelance Make Up Artist on the HMRC website.  The process can take 10 days to complete upon which HMRC will post you a UTR number (Unique Tax Payers Reference).  Keep this safe as you will need this code to file your Self Assessment Tax Return.

Self Employed Individuals are responsible for reporting their income to HMRC under Self Assessment by submitting a personal Tax Return by 31 January each year detailing your income as a Self Employed or Freelance Make Up Artist, the income tax and Class 2 & Class 4 National Insurance due as well as making a payment for the tax and NI due. Your tax return submitted by 31 January covers the previous tax year (a tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April). So for example, your tax return due by 31 January 2018 details your earnings between 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017 and this will include your income as a Self Employed Make Up Artist as well as any other earnings you may have (such as rental income, bank interest or dividends).

Watch out, you are also required to make a payment on account to HMRC by 31 July each year too which is normally 50% of your previous years tax bill, so make sure you budget for this additional payment too.

It is also worth noting that if you already complete a Self Assessment Tax Return, for example because you collect rental income or have savings interest, that you need to complete a Form CWF1 to notify HMRC that you have a new form of income you need to report on.  Again, you can do this online here and you will need your Unique Tax Payers Reference.

Next: Allowable Expenses that Reduce Your Tax Bill