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  • Writer's pictureJon Harris

A little-known tax deadline for actors: Monday 5 October

If you started self-employment between April 2019 and March 2020 – for example if you graduated from drama training in summer 2019 – you only have another few weeks to register as self-employed.

Many of the annual deadlines for tax are well-known and well-understood by the wider community. Most self-employed people know, for example, that the tax year ends of 5 April and that annual tax returns and payments are due by 31 January.

However, those who are starting out may not know that the deadline to register with HMRC as self-employed (which is very easily done in a few mouse-clicks or a quick call to HMRC) is 5 October in the second tax year after your business activity starts. That means 5 October 2020 if you started work in the second half of 2019.

All new actors graduating from drama training, along with those starting to look for freelance work in script work, camera work, producing and directing, fashion, sports coaching and PT work are almost certain to need to register. If you are from last summer’s cohort of graduates, you must register within the next few weeks or you risk a penalty from HMRC.

  • Step 1 – register for self-assessment

  • Step 2 – read all our blogs about accounting for actors, full of great tax tips and advice on tax for everyone in the creative, cultural and sporting industries

  • Step 3 – go get that job !

We are necessarily only making short and general points here – if you are in any doubt about your particular circumstances, please contact us. For FREE advice and help with registering as self-employed call us on 08000 487626, message us on Instagram @accounting4actors or email .

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions at all. We’ll chat to you about your affairs with no obligation on you whatsoever.

Please visit the Accounting for Actors website to find out about tax for actors, accounting for creative and cultural industry professionals, actors’ tax returns, and all accounting for creatives.

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