Do influencers have to complete Self Assessment tax returns?

If you are a vlogger, gamer, streamer or social media influencer who earns revenue from your work, it is possible that you will need to complete a Self Assessment tax return.

What is a Self Assessment return?

A Self Assessment return is required in order to establish your net income and capital gains tax due for the year. This may include revenue from your online content, sponsorships, endorsements, merchandise or other offline sources of income. It includes any reliefs or allowances claimed as well as any income tax deducted at source.

The deadline is 31 October if filling in a paper form or 31 January if submitting online. However, we strongly suggest you complete your tax return as soon as possible in order to avoid any last-minute issues or HMRC queries. You must also pay any tax you owe by midnight on 31 January.

Do I need to file a return?

You must complete a return if at any point in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April) you:

  • Were a partner in a business
  • Were self-employed as a sole trader and earned over £1,000
  • Had income from dividends in excess of £2,000 or investments and savings in excess of £500
  • Had income from abroad
  • Had income from renting a property
  • Had earned income from tips or commission

You can also opt to complete a tax return to claim certain income tax reliefs. Or if you’re self-employed, in order to apply for tax-free childcare or maternity pay.

Notice to file a return

It is mandatory to submit a Self Assessment return if you are issued with a notice from HMRC.

If you have not been issued a notice you must notify HMRC by 5 October following the end of the tax year if you have received income or gains which are liable to tax. For example, if you have capital gains in excess of £12,300 in 2021/22 then you need to tell HMRC by 5 October 2022 who will then send you a tax return to complete.

There are penalties if you fail to complete your return by the 31 January deadline or notify HMRC of any taxable income or gains (unless you have a reasonable excuse).

Are there any exceptions?

As a director you do not need to register for self-assessment and file a return if:

  • Your income is taxed at source, and you have no other sources of income
  • You have not received a notice from HMRC to file a return

If you require any tax advice or need help completing a return, please get in touch with one of our team.