If you’ve a computer or smartphone, there’s a host of ways to boost your coffers. You could earn £1,000s/year from your sofa, with no special skill needed.
Before you become an online earner, there are a few things worth knowing. The key is while some of these sites pay small amounts, add them all together and it can turn into an annual bonanza of £1,000s.
- Don’t store cash in online-earning accounts.(These companies aren’t banks. There’s no protection if one closes, taking your cash with it. So withdraw your cash as soon as you reach the payment threshold.)
- Set up a dedicated email address. (Don’t use your normal email address – it’ll be immediately flooded. Instead, set up a dedicated email account for online earning. As a powerful free option, Gmail is among the best. This can also be a quick way to check when new paid tasks become available.)
- Don’t expect it to be instantly rolling in. (With some sites, it can take a while to earn enough to be able to withdraw your money. If you give up, it means the tasks were done for nowt.For this reason, it’s important to understand it’s not quick cash. Yet it’s nice extra income, provided you’re consistent and have a little patience.)
- Don’t forget the taxman will want his share. (Before you start counting the dosh, don’t forget some of it belongs to the taxman. For most people, it’ll be around a third. That said, most of these earnings are unlikely to push non-taxpayers over the threshold.
As any sources of extra income need to be declared, ensure you’re upfront with HM Revenue and Customs. Survey earnings are self-employed income, which means registering with the HMRC Helpline for the Newly Self-Employed on 0300 200 3300. Register late and you can face an automatic £100 penalty.
For full information, read HMRC’s self-employment leaflet.
What counts as income?
We asked HMRC and it said income earned through websites and apps may be taxable if the income’s in return for performing a service or providing a facility. So completing online surveys or allowing an application to analyze your activities is taxable. If you’re unsure, give HMRC a call.)
Spend gift vouchers ASAP. (If you have a choice, opt to get paid in cash. If you get paid in gift vouchers, spend them ASAP. That way the retailer can’t go bust on you, invalidating them. Plus you can’t lose them or forget them until they go out of date. Full info on this in Gift Voucher Warning.)