I said that I would be making three telephone calls today and that I would keep you updated on how it went. I think that it might be useful for my readers in the UK to hear about the process so that they understand what they may go through when starting as self-employed.
I called this tax helpline to ask some questions about my tax situation and seek clarification to some queues I have. The line is advertised as something that helps people on low income with their tax. I'm sure that I fit into this category because I have just started out. There was a recorded message stating that the line is only open from 10 AM to midday on weekdays. Because of this I couldn't get through but I'm sure that this information is useful. There was the facility to leave a voicemail and see if they get back to you but I'd rather speak to someone in person. I will try again tomorrow and let you know what I find.
Registering as self-employed with HMRC
There was another recorded message here but one that I found much more useful. It directed me to the government website to register as self employed. You will need to register for a Government Gateway account and then confirm your self-employed status. There are a lot of questions, rules and regulations at the outset but this is to make sure that you are registering properly. But after a short while the process becomes really easy and you get a confirmation email at the end. I recommend the system as it gives you the chance to enter what you need in your own time. Don't forget your National Insurance number!
Informing the child tax credit people of a change
This can be easily forgotten with everything else going on. I called and amazingly got through first time! They are notorious for having people waiting for huge lengths of time especially when it is renewal time but I had no wait at all. The operative at the end of the line had obviously gone through this many times before and was able to give me help along the way. He understood that self-employment means that I couldn't accurately predict the amount I would earn over the year and asked me to keep them updated if I felt they my initial estimate would change in any way. I found it an excellent process. There was an online option but I wanted to speak to a human here.