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Are You Declaring All Of Your Earnings To HMRC?

Our guide to help you declare all additional income to HMRC. Not doing so can end up being an expensive mistake.

Are You Declaring All Of Your Earnings To HMRC?

Outside of regular income, you may earn an additional sum that has gone undeclared to HMRC. Usually, this is a genuine mistake as you may not have been aware that you were required to do so. However, HMRC isn’t always so understanding and can penalise you for not disclosing your full finances.

If you’re employed, tax is taken from your wages. But if you’re a self-employed sole trader and earning above your trading allowance (£1,000 as of 2019/20) in additional work and you have not informed HMRC, then you’re committing tax avoidance.

To help keep you compliant, Mike Parkes, our Self-Assessment expert, who for a day job help develops the successful  GoSimpleTax Self-Assessment calculation and submission app, has provided the below guide to the most common unreported sources of income.

Rental property

Landlords are required to pay Income Tax on their rental profits. Specifically, you are expected to have earnings in excess of £1,000.

There are exceptions. If you reside in your very own rental property and receive less than the Rent a Room Scheme threshold, you won’t pay tax. In fact, provided your tenant pays less than £7,500 a year, you’re able to claim tax-free allowance.

Tips and commission

Income Tax should be paid on all tips and commission, although the way in which you pay tax depends on the format of the tips and how they have been shared out.

  • Cash tips – When receiving cash tips, you’re required to pay tax but not National Insurance. If you file your own Self Assessment tax return, you’ll be required to include tips. If you work for an employer, HMRC estimates your earnings and collects tax through PAYE.
  • Card or cheque tips – Employers will be responsible in this case, either by paying Income Tax through PAYE or pooling tips into a ‘tronc’. The ‘troncmaster’ then ensures tips are paid to each member of staff – with Income Tax being paid correctly.
  • Bonuses – Commission and other bonuses are generally paid via PAYE and you will have to pay both tax and National Insurance. Cash-in-hand bonuses are illegal provided the relevant contributions haven’t been deducted.

Income from savings

Your savings are largely covered by a Personal Allowance, the starting rate for savings and your Personal Savings Allowance. The former – your tax-free Personal Allowance (that is, the amount of income which you don’t need to pay any tax on) – is currently set at £12,500 and the Personal Savings Allowance allows for up to £1,000 (depending on your Income Tax band).

Any income from savings interest that’s over your allowance will be taxed at your usual rate of Income Tax. If you’re self-employed, then you’ll need to report the accrued extra interest within your Self Assessment tax return. For employees, this is paid automatically through a change in your tax code.

Foreign income

Foreign income is anything from outside England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For example, if you work abroad, have foreign investments or rental income on overseas property, you may need to pay UK Income Tax.

This can largely depend on whether or not you are classed as a UK resident and where you are domiciled, however. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to declare any relevant foreign investment and property earnings to HMRC, again via your Self Assessment tax return.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are additional forms of income which can go unreported, costing you a significant penalty. These include income from trusts, dividends and peer-to-peer loans.

About GoSimpleTax

Sound confusing? With software like GoSimpleTax, you’re able to effortlessly collate your earnings and look out for ways to reduce tax liability before submitting your Self-Assessment tax return direct to HMRC. You won’t need to worry about wrangling documentation together either – with GoSimpleTax, you’re able to log income and expenditure as you go, making it easier for you to claim for allowances wherever relevant.

Take a free 14-day trial today, no credit card required and see just how simple it can be.

This article was published in our Guides section on 10/10/2019.

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