tax advice and allowable business expenses for self employed personal trainers

Personal fitness trainer? Let’s face it, watching your client jump up and down doing burpees is a little easier than completing your annual tax return.  But when the time comes and you decide to review your tax responsibilities, liability and assess your record keeping skills, it pays to know the facts. We have put together this guide just for you whether you are considering starting a new career or just want to understand a little more about allowable expenses. 

How to Register with HMRC as a Self Employed Personal Trainer

Whether you are offer bootcamp classes in your local park, use a local gym or go to clients homes going self employed is the easiest way to kick start your career as a personal trainer.

When you are self employed you are responsible for your own taxes and national insurance (unlike if you were employed in a job and issued with a payslip each month showing your pay and deductions).

The simplest way to register as Self Employed is to visit the HMRC website and register online. The process can take 10 days to complete upon which HMRC will post you a UTR number (Unique Tax Payers Reference). Keep this safe as you will need this code to file your Self Assessment Tax Return.

Once self employed you must then:

  1. Set up a bookkeeping system that keeps a record of all your income and expenses, as well as filing all your receipts;
  2. Complete a Self Assessment Tax Return by 31 January each year summarising your business income and expenses;
  3. Pay any Tax due by 31 January each year (and payments on account by 31 January and 31 July each year).

Your tax return submitted by 31 January covers the previous tax year (a tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April). So for example, your tax return due by 31 January 2018 details your earnings between 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017 and this will detail your income from cleaning as well as any other earnings you may have (such as from other rental income, bank interest or dividends).

It is also worth noting that if you already complete a Self Assessment Tax Return, for example because you collect rental income or have savings interest, that you need to complete a Form CWF1 to notify HMRC that you have a new form of income you need to report on.  Again, you can do this online here and you will need your Unique Tax Payers Reference.

When Should You Register with HMRC as a Self Employed Personal Trainer?

You must register with HMRC as self employed as soon as possible after starting work as an personal trainer but HMRC rules are that you must register by 5 October in your business’ second tax year.

However if you are newly self employed and expect that your gross income will be less than £1,000 in your first year, you may be entitled to the £1,000 Annual Tax Allowance for traders meaning you don’t need to register and declare your income. Check the criteria to understand your eligibility and whether this allowance is the most tax efficient solution for you here.

Next: How Much Tax Do You Pay >>

Bookkeeping Spreadsheet Cash Business
Now Available, my simple bookkeeping spreadsheet and guide designed with self employed personal trainers in mind.

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Lewis is a freelance writer and marketing expert specialising in owner managed business. All his writing is based on his own experiences and observations, giving you a unique perspective on running a small business or being self employed.