Schedule D?

Employers accountants routinely refer to people who, for tax purposes, are “Self Employed Sole Traders” as “Schedule D”.

This refers to the old “Schedule D” of the schedular system of taxation that was largely re-written by the Tax Law Rewrite Project [pdf] – a government initiative to remove archaic language and complicated processes that had grown up over many years. When you earned income from land in the UK, you paid tax under “Schedule A”, and I’ve a dim recollection of PAYE earnings referred to as “Schedule E“, etc.

Schedule D was the tax you pay on your personal profits – so profits (after expenses) from work that is not PAYE, but invoiced, profits from interest earnings that haven’t already been taxed in some other way, income from property or investments abroad and a few other things. It is broadly the things that you declare in your annual Self Assessment.

All of this still exists but referring to it as a bundle as Schedule D is now a bit archaic – though it doesn’t stop many people from continuing to use it as shorthand. This causes a bit of confusion because some people are still asked for their ‘Schedule D Number’ which is now referred to as Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number – a 10-digit number unique to you that everyone gets once they’ve registered as self-employed through the Government Gateway. (Details of how to do all of this are in Bectu’s Tax for Freelancers which members can access through the union’s website).

The usual footnote applies here though; the information that this blog provides is only a general outline of the subjects covered. It should neither be regarded as comprehensive nor sufficient for making decisions, and it should not be used in place of professional advice.

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