How To File Your Tax Returns For The First Time If You Are Self Employed?

Self Employed Tax Return

As a self-employed individual, filing your tax return can be more complicated than it is for employees who receive a W-2 form from their employer. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to file a tax return that reports your business income and expenses, along with any other income you earn. Self-employed individuals are required to pay self-employment taxes, which include both Social Security and Medicare taxes. These taxes are calculated on the net income of the business, which is the income minus expenses. 

The current self-employment tax rate is 15.3%, which is the combined rate for Social Security (12.4%) and Medicare (2.9%). If your net income exceeds a certain threshold, you may also be subject to an additional Medicare tax.  It’s important to file your self employed tax return on time to avoid penalties and interest charges.

Initial Steps

To file a self employed tax return , you’ll need to keep accurate records of all your business income and expenses throughout the year. This includes invoices, receipts, and bank statements. You’ll use this information to complete Schedule C (Form 1040), which reports your business income and expenses. You may also need to complete additional forms, such as Schedule SE, which calculates your self-employment tax. In addition to that you must have and Form 1040, which reports all your income and deductions.

In this blog, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to file your self employed tax return for the first time.

Registration for Self-Assessment

Before you register, you will need to gather your personal information, including your National Insurance number, contact information, and information about your business, such as the start date, business name, and address.

Keeping Accurate Records

To ensure that you’re paying the correct amount of tax, it’s important to keep accurate records of your income and expenses. Keep all receipts and invoices, as well as bank statements and any other relevant documents.

Choosing a Filing Method

There are two methods for filing your self employed tax return: online and paper. The online method is the easiest and most convenient option, as it allows you to file your return from anywhere with an internet connection. The paper method requires you to complete a physical form and mail it to HMRC.

Gathering Your Information

Before you start filling out your tax return, you’ll need to gather all of the necessary information. This includes your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), National Insurance number, and details of your income and expenses. You’ll also need to have information about any other income you’ve received during the tax year, such as from employment or rental properties.

Complete Your Tax Return

Once you have all of the necessary information, you can start completing your tax return. The online tax return is divided into sections, each of which corresponds to a specific aspect of your self-employment. You’ll need to provide details about your income, expenses, and any other relevant information.

Declaring Your Income and Expenses

When declaring your income and expenses, you need to make sure you’re claiming for everything you’re entitled to. This includes any allowable expenses, such as office equipment, travel expenses, and phone bills. You can also claim for capital allowances on equipment or vehicles you’ve purchased for your business.

Submitting Your Tax Return

Once you’ve completed your tax return, you need to submit it to HMRC. If you’re filing online, you’ll receive an immediate confirmation that your tax return has been received. If you’re filing by paper, you’ll need to allow extra time for your return to be processed.

Paying Your Taxes

Once you have submitted your tax return, you need to pay any tax owed. You can do this online or by mail. If you owe more than £1,000 in tax, you may need to make payments on account, which means you’ll need to make two payments per year.

Keeping Records

After filing your self employed tax return, it’s important to keep records of your income and expenses for at least six years. This is in case HMRC decides to audit your tax returns in the future.


Filing your self-employed tax return for the first time can be overwhelming, but with the right information and guidance, you can successfully complete the process. Keep accurate records, choose a filing method that works best for you, and make sure you’re claiming for all allowable expenses. Once you’ve filed your tax return, pay any tax owed and keep records of your income and expenses for at least six years. By following these steps, you’ll become a tax-savvy self-employed individual.