I am based in the UK and thinking of doing some freelance work through Upwork alongside my main full-time job to boost my income a little.
However, I'm wondering whether any income earned through a site like Upwork is subject to income tax or not, and if so, how should it be declared? On top of my regular income? Or is it a separate category?

  • 1
    In most countries any income above a certain amount is taxable. The source of the income is largely irrelevant (as long as it's legal). I'm not familiar with UK taxes so I can't answer specifically, but in general .... yes it's taxable.
    – Scott
    Sep 28, 2016 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


good idea to start a bit of freelancing on the side! There are some rules but they are easy and shouldn't scare you off.

I'm in the UK too:

  1. the income is taxable in the same way as your normal income
  2. you will need to register with HMRC as a sole trader (even though you keep your normal job) - I think within 3 months but I could be wrong (https://www.gov.uk/set-up-sole-trader/overview)
  3. You need to check your normal work contract to see what it says about taking on other work. Always work from home on your own computer - when you do freelance work on work machines or at the office, the ownership situation gets really tricky.
  4. You will need to do annual tax returns. This can be annoying - but there are fixed price packages available from accountants or use FreeAgent, which handles most of the calculations for you (or if you're ok with numbers and don't do much work, then you can do it yourself)

On the plus side, you can start to claim tax relief on freelance-work related purchases! New laptop, magazine subscriptions, even an allocation of your workspace at home.

Best of luck, let us know how it goes.

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