Tax and Employment Status

All tutors on Spires are Self-employed, tutors do not work for Spires nor are they contracted to Spires

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

Tutors do not work for Spires, they are not employees, nor are they contracted to Spires. Tutors are self employed, educational tutors, who provide tuition in subjects they have chosen, to students whom they enter into an agreement with. They are free to register with other platforms/agencies and work independently of Spires.

The agreement between Spires and tutors is that Spires grants tutors a licence to use its platform. This license however has conditions, such as they cannot share private contract details, that they give us the documents we ask for such as DBS and references, that they do not behave dishonestly or facilitate academic misconduct, and do not try to entice clients to break their contractual relationship with us among other things. This is all incorporated in the code of conduct, which everyone must observe on spires, including students/parents.

All tutors on Spires are Self-Employed and responsible for their own tax affairs.

As a self-employed tutor, you are not covered by UK employment rights and as such you are not eligible for holiday pay, sick pay and/or pensions from Spires. We also recommend that tutors purchase their own professional indemnity insurance.

If you live inside the UK, then you need to submit your earnings on Spires to HMRC via Self-Assessment and register with them to get a UTR and National Insurance Number.

If you live outside of the UK then you need to report your earnings to your local tax authority. We are not aware of the specifics involved for each country and it would be something that you would have to investigate independently.

If you have any doubts about anything within this article, then please seek clarification from professionals.

Information for tutors inside the UK

Please note that students on Tier 2 and Tier 4 Student Visas cannot be Self-Employed in the UK and cannot be tutors on Spires, unless their Visa status changes or they return to their country of origin to tutor from there.

If you are a UK resident you will need a National Insurance number and a Unique Tax Reference Code to complete your tax returns. If you do not have either of these, you must obtain them from HMRC. If you cannot obtain them, you do not have eligibility to tutor on Spires.

  1. National Insurance Number - You can find your National Insurance number on any pay slip, P60 or tax return. If you don't have these documents, please click here.

  2. Unique Tax Reference Code - You will need to contact HMRC and register as self-employed within 3 months of beginning tutoring either by phone or apply online here: It is simplest to register as a sole trader using your own name as a company name. They will give you a Unique Tax Reference number and send an activation code to you by post which needs to be used within 7 days.

The self-assessment deadline for your tax returns is around the 31st of January each year. You can simply download a record of your earnings from the history tab in Spires and add the total to your self-assessment tax return.

Information for tutors outside of the UK

International tutors resident outside of the UK must comply with their local tax authorities' rules. This would mean that a tutor would need to register as self employed, and meet all their obligations, including filing taxes, paying taxes and any social security payments, and maintaining records.

As there are a lot of countries, each with its own tax codes and arrangements, we cannot advise you on your situation. You would need to research your specific country and ensure that you comply with the rules and regulations. We recommend you seek advice from a professional and purchase your own professional indemnity insurance.

Spires cannot be held liable for any tax or employment issues. These are the sole responsibility of the tutors.

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