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Posted Mon, 24 Apr 2023 17:29:04 GMT by CMH161821
My spouse and I run a small business together walking dogs. Income and expenses go through our joint personal bank account. We advertise as a couple. We don’t have our own client list as such although my spouse tends to do more of the walks. Can we both register for self assessment as sole traders and each declare a % of the profits roughly in proportion to time spent on walks? Or do we have to register a business partnership with HMRC and then each declare a % of the partnership profits? Is the business structure for tax purposes (two sole traders running one business together OR two partners in a partnership) a choice for us to make or does the set-up dictate the structure?
Posted Wed, 03 May 2023 08:15:10 GMT by HMRC Admin 25
Hi CMH161821,

You would need to determine if you are actually a partnership in first instance.

PM120100 - What is a partnership?

If not,then you both need to register as self employed.

Either way, a Self Assessment Tax Return will still be required.

Thank you 
Posted Wed, 03 May 2023 08:51:51 GMT by CMH161821
I would say we fulfil the criteria of a partnership per PM120100. So does this mean we HAVE TO register a partnership and pay tax on our split of the partnership profits? Or can we still CHOOSE to register as self employed and pay tax on an appropriate split? Also, I understand we would need 3rd party software to file a partnership tax return online. It is much easier to file a self-employment page (as an additional page on our own tax return). So purely from an admin point of view we would choose to register as self employed, if indeed we have the choice. Please advise. Thanks
Posted Wed, 10 May 2023 10:38:45 GMT by HMRC Admin 19

As you meet the criteria for a partnership then you will need to register as such. You can opt for a paper return if you do not wish to purchase 3rd party software.

Thank you.

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