This section covers the tax rules for self-employed individuals, or "sole traders".  These are people who trade on their own through an unincorporated business.

These rules also apply to partners in partnerships, but partnership law is a separate issue, and partnerships can have different treatment when it comes to taxing profits and losses.

This section is for sole traders and is full of tax planning guides and tips & tools together with tax compliance checklists and our regular CPD updates.

If you are looking for general guidance covering the life of a sole trader, or are new to our site, try these:


Different tax rules apply for different types of expense. These guides summarise the rules, advise you on planning points and tax-traps and with worked examples illustrate what you can and can't claim.

How are different types of business taxed? What special rules apply to different types of business income and expenses? What about VAT? We summarise the different rules for taxing income and expenses of a large selection of different trades, professions and vocations.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Business* New Dates

  • *Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA):
    • Individuals can use the MTD ITSA pilot
    • From April 2026: self-employed businesses and landlords with business turnover above £50,000 report under MTD for ITSA.
    • From April 2027: self-employed businesses and landlords with business turnover above £30,000 report under MTD for ITSA
    • From  tba: other income tax , general partnerships and partnerships.
  • Corporation Tax (CT): 
    • From April 2024: companies can start using a MTD for Corporation Tax (CT) pilot scheme.
    • From April 2026: companies join MTD for CT.
  • VAT:
    • From April 2019: VAT registered businesses with turnover exceeding the VAT registration threshold must retain digital records and submit their VAT returns to HMRC using 'functional compatible software'.
    • From April 2022: all VAT registered business report under MTD for VAT.


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