MAKING A MARK: Tax Tips for UK Artists

Two weeks ago I delivered a Zoom Talk to recent art graduates about “Tax Tips for UK Artists” – and walked them through the process of starting out with their tax affairs with the HMRC and what they needed to do. 

You can find out what the Talk covers below.

Any art society or group of artists who’d like to me to deliver a Zoom Talk can get in touch with me via the Contact Form at the end of my ‘Would You Like Me to Help Page’ on Art Business Info for Artists

As well as preparing the Talk, I’ve also been updating the pages on my Art Business Info for Artists website about

Both of these contain much of what I cover in the Talk – plus HMRC Videos explaining specific aspects of importance.

Tax Tips for UK Artists – the Zoom Talk

The talk covers

Do you need a Tax Return?

  • HOW to know the difference between:
    • Hobby artists
    • Self-employment
    • Trading
  • The “Badges of Trade”

Essentially this is about making sure artists understand the basics they need to know – to work out whether they need to register as a sole trader and self assessment for Income Tax.

How to Keep Tax Paperwork

  • WHAT records you need to keep
  • WHY tax is digital
  • HOW to keep records
  • HOW to make sure your invoices are valid tax documents

This is all about how to make life easy for yourself in terms of keeping your transactions recorded; your paperwork organised and your invoices valid tax documents

HMRC Basics

  • Basic tax
  • How you are employed
  • How to Register
    • HMRC Government Gateway account
    • For self-assessment
    • As Trading / Sole Trader
  • Self-assessment
    • Business tax return
    • NEW! Making Tax Digital (i.e. ITSA for MTD)

This covers the basic processes involved in registering with HMRC and the documentation you have to complete

Tax Return Practicalities

  • Timescales for completing tax returns
  • What you must declare
  • Allowable Expenses
  • Allowances

More basics relating to timelines, what you MUST DECLARE and what you can claim to offset your income received to create your taxable income.

Paying your Tax Bill

  • What you have to pay
  • Options for payment
  • How to pay it at year end

The nitty gritty of how and when to pay your tax bill


  • Four things you MUST know about VAT!

I guarantee you’ll be surprised by some of this….

Income Tax Self Assessment for Making Tax Digital

I’ll be doing a seperate blog post about the excitement which is ITSA for MTD – or Income Tax Self Assessment for Making Tax Digital.

Having delayed its implementation for EVERYBODY with a turnover of more than £10k a year (which is going to be most full-time professional artists), the Government is finally getting around to catching up on the missing documentation for how this is going to work

At present we can only be certain of a few things:

  • it’s applicable to all self-employed artists with a turnover of more than £10,000 p.a. who MUST:
    • keep their records on a quarterly basis
    • submit MTD statements on a quarterly basis.
  • it’s applicable from from the tax year starting 6th April 2024 (i.e. in 18 months time)!

Without Professional Liability

As always, although I’m a qualified accountant, I’m also 

  • retired and 
  • not a member of my professional Institute any more and 
  • do not carry any professional liability insurance. 

It’s a full time job to keep up with changes in tax regimes which is why, although I do a regular update for the UK Page, I do NOT suggest that I can provide all the answers or that my pages contain all the latest most up to date advice.

That’s why tax accountants charge the fees they do!

Leave a Reply