Tax & admin · 23 January 2018

One in three side hustlers fail to declare taxable earnings to HMRC

Selling second-hand items was the most popular way to earn an additional income

A third of Britain’s side hustlers have admitted withholding their earnings from HMRC, new research has found, despite warnings from the tax office.

According to survey findings gathered by betting site Oddsmonkey, a quarter of Brits now earn money on the side from their day job, covering the rising costs of living by selling online or renting out a spare room.

However, one in three of the nation’s side hustlers earning above the £1,000 threshold admitted they had not declared their earnings to HMRC.

If people are earning above the threshold outside of their regular income – and meet HMRC’s “badges of trade” qualifications – and do not register for self-assessment as soon as possible, they could face an instant £100 fine and risk further penalties for outstanding tax liabilities.



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The research also uncovered the most popular ways people had found to top up their incomes, as well as attitudes towards side hustling.

Although a majority undertook additional work out of necessity to cover bills, rents and mortgages, a third said their side hustle was more fulfilling than their regular career. Almost four in ten said they would turn to it into a full-time job if they could.

Online marketplaces have emerged as a leading enabler for Britain’s side hustle economy, with 68 per cent selling unwanted items on eBay and Facebook Marketplace to earn an average of £165 per month.

The most lucrative prospects were found to be in selling beauty products, worth £249 per month, and renting out a spare room, with Airbnb users

However, making crafts and baking were found to be the most enjoyable side hustles, despite being among the least profitable.

Most popular side hustles Average monthly earnings Side hustlers that do this
Sell beauty products £249 33 per cent
Rent out a spare room £241 35 per cent
Blog £231 35 per cent
Rent out a driveway £217 33 per cent
Baking and selling goods £183 37 per cent
Sell second-hand items £165 68 per cent
Making and selling crafts £163 46 per cent


Commenting on the findings, Peter Watton, spokesman for Oddsmonkey reminded the UK’s part-time entrepreneurs of their tax responsibilities.

“With the constantly increasing cost of living, we were hardly surprised that Brits are having to take up side hustles in order to earn themselves some extra cash,” he explained.

“While it is great that Brits are using their passions to earn extra income, it is important to remember to declare any income over £1000 to ensure you don’t get in trouble with the tax man.”

Here are ten side hustle ideas you can launch today using just your laptop

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.