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What clothing can I claim for through my business?

We all need to dress for work. It doesn’t matter whether you dress up for a networking event or dress down to work from the sofa; the chances are you have purchased some clothes since starting your business that you only wear whilst working. But what you consider to be your business workwear and what HMRC consider to be workwear can often differ. So, in this blog I’m going to ask you some questions that may help you to decide what to put through your business....

August 20, 2019

Is it easy to switch accounting software?

For most of us, we choose an accounting software when we start our business and then we stick to it. Even if it irritates us. And the main reason for that is because switching can feel like a chore. Better the devil you know and all that. But sometimes we are forced to change. It could be that you have been using Wave and have realised that from September 2019, they will be switching off their UK bank feeds. It could be that you are changing accountants and your previous one gave you some be...

July 29, 2019

What VAT rates should I use when preparing my VAT Return?

Have you ever felt that feeling of panic, when you enter all your information into your accounting software and press the button to generate the VAT Return, only to be greeted with a report that is completely wrong? Where have all your sales gone? Why haven’t some of the purchases pulled through? If you have experienced that situation before then it’ll probably be because you have used the wrong VAT rates....

June 18, 2019

Limited Company or self-employed: what is the difference?

What is the difference between trading through a Limited Company or deciding to be self-employed? Are they taxed the same? Can you only be VAT registered if you have a Limited Company? If you trade through a Limited Company, can you avoid the payment on account? You may have a lot of questions when you decide to start on your freelance journey; that’s only natural. So here is a quick run through of the questions I am typically asked, which I hope will help you....

April 21, 2019

How should I price my services?

Starting your own business is exciting. You may be doing it for the thrill of stepping into the unknown and seeing where your dream can take you. Or maybe it’s about being your own boss and setting hours to suit your lifestyle. Whatever the reason, all new business owners have one question in common: “How should I price for my services?” It’s a question we’re all faced with and it can be increasingly difficult if you have no fixed list of services or know how long a job is going to tak...

March 21, 2019

Should I register for VAT?

There may come a time when you will start to wonder whether becoming VAT registered will benefit your business. You could reach this point before you even begin trading but it might never cross your mind until your business ramps up a notch. Either way, there are a couple of things that you may want to consider before deciding whether registering for VAT is the right thing for you. Now I don’t normally do disclaimers before I begin a blog, but it is worth remembering that VAT is tricksy. For...

February 27, 2019

Do I need a business bank account?

When you first begin to trade, you may question whether you need to set up a business bank account or whether you can use your personal bank account. As business bank accounts typically have charges attached to them, it can make sense to try to avoid these costs and using a personal account is an easy way to do this. However, there are reasons why you may want to open a business bank account....

November 15, 2018

How much money should I set aside to pay my personal tax bill?

Once you’ve been working freelance for a while and have started to make a bit of money, you might want to start to think about how much you need to set aside to pay in tax. This is a great mindset to be in if you already are! I’ll help you understand the next steps. If you’re not, read on and perhaps that will start to cultivate the mindset a little and save you some headaches further down the line....

October 17, 2018

Do I need an accountant?

I’ve recently come across a number of freelancers asking if they need an accountant. It’s a fair question, as when you are starting up, or if your business is in a famine stage (rather than the favourite feast stage), it’s common sense to question where you are spending your money. We all like spending money on fun things like marketing. After all, if money is tight it is easy to justify spending on a new website or some leaflets as these have the potential to bring in the business that y...

July 30, 2018

Do I need accounting software to do my bookkeeping?

Be honest. What’s your bookkeeping setup like? Or in simpler terms, how do you keep track of the finances for your small business? It’s pretty common for bookkeeping to sit right at the bottom of the list when businesses are starting up. You need to bring in some money first, then you can worry about the bookkeeping, right? Lots of businesses scrabble around when that first customer needs to be invoiced, and end up cobbling something together as a PDF. Most also realise fairly early on that ...

June 27, 2018

I've started a business. What do I need to do now?

You have decided to start your own business and you are ready to go. This first thing you may decide to do is join a networking group. Get a logo made. Google how to get your first customers. All the fun things. But whilst marketing is understandably sexy and fun, there are a couple of finance things that you may want to research and get into place first. And then, once the finance is done, you can get back to the marketing and begin to grow your business....

May 3, 2018

What is a Directors Loan Account?

The first time most business owners hear the term Directors Loan Account, is when they sit down with their accountant to discuss their Limited Company year-end accounts. I know from taking client meetings myself, that us accountants don’t always explain what this account is or what it is made up of. So, just in case you felt a little bit too embarrassed to ask, I thought I would answer some questions you may have....

March 29, 2018

How can I withdraw money from my Limited Company?

You’ve decided to set up and trade through a Limited Company. It’s started to make money and that money is sat in the bank account. You now want to get paid. So, you can just take the money from the bank account, right? Not exactly....

March 22, 2018

What is IR35 and how will I know if it affects me?

IR35 in the name of the legislation that HMRC has created to crack down on contractors who should really be employees. If you have recently set up a Limited Company and your business has only one client, or maybe a portfolio with one larger client, you might have heard IR35 being muttered by your fellow freelancers. Whilst having one large client does not immediately equal IR35, it is always worth checking yourself against the rules to see if you believe you could be an employee in disguise. ...

March 3, 2018

If I work from home, how can I claim for these costs?

If you rent an office or workshop, then the figure you can put through your tax return is fairly straightforward. However, for a lot of small businesses, renting isn’t an option for either financial or practical reasons, so you may find yourself working from home. As your business is likely to be increasing certain household expenses, it seems unfair not to include these within your tax-deductible expenses. But as it isn’t as clear cut what is a business expense and what is a personal expe...

February 18, 2018

How to choose an accountant who isn't a little bit rubbish

There are times in our life when we want the best. We might want the best photographer for our wedding, buy the best car we can afford, live in the best house in our area, eat the best food and so on. But sometimes we don’t want the best. Sometimes we just want something that will do. Sometimes we just want something that isn’t going to be a bit rubbish. And that’s not a bad thing. There are plenty of times in our lives when we just want non-rubbish stuff. Let’s say you’re heading fr...

January 25, 2018

What are simplified expenses?

Keeping paperwork isn’t everyone’s strong point. And that’s okay. HMRC have realised this, and in an unusual attempt to help you claim some of the more complex expenses, they have created simplified expenses....

January 18, 2018

Sole Trade V’s Limited Company – Which one should you choose?

One of the first decisions that you need to make when you decide to start your own business, is whether to be self employed or trade through a Limited Company. Your initial response may be to ask around; see what friends or family do. Maybe even ask on a social media forum. But the problem is, the correct answer is quite personal to you. So, what could be absolutely right for one person, could be completely wrong for another. So, in an attempt to help you to decide, let’s start at the beginni...

January 16, 2018

Has my hobby become a business?

Just because you have made some money, doesn’t mean you have a business. And just because you’re making a loss or breaking even, doesn’t mean that what you are doing is a hobby. There is a grey and wobbly line that separates the two, but it’s important to know the distinction between them. If only for the simple reason that there are plenty of penalties and piles of backdated tax to be had should HMRC deem you to be trading when you’ve been hiding behind the façade of a hobby. So, wh...

January 5, 2018

What is a payment on account?

It’s January and your accountant sits you down and tells you your tax liability and it’s high. Way higher than you expected. Panic begins to set in. This can’t be right you say to yourself. They must have calculated it wrong.Welcome to the world of your first payment on account. ...

December 21, 2017

When will I have to start paying tax on my self-employment profits?

True or False: You won’t have to pay any tax until your income exceeds the personal allowance? This isn’t a trick question by the way. It is true. However, I wanted to start with this question because it is often believed that unless you exceed the personal allowance you will not have anything to pay when you submit your tax return. Unfortunately, that is not the case....

December 19, 2017

How do I claim for my motor expenses?

If you are self-employed and own a car, the chances are there will be some motor expenses which we can bring into your accounts to reduce your tax bill. Claiming your motor expenses can be a little trickier than most of your other business expenses, as it is highly likely that your car will have a mixture of both business and personal use. Because of this duel use, you cannot simply collect your receipts and offset them all against your profits....

November 29, 2017

What food and drink can I claim for through my business?

So, can you claim for that cup of coffee at a networking meeting or not? When you’re an employee, your day can be quite structured, and you may have found that your food and drink expenses would have been restricted to what you decide to have for lunch. As a business owner, food and drink becomes far less clear cut. You may be travelling to see clients. Having meetings in cafes. Grabbing a sandwich whilst you’re out on the road. It can be tempting to think that every food and drink purchase...

November 24, 2017

Xero v’s SAGE One: Which one is the best for your business?

I’m not naive enough to think that Xero is the right accounting software for everyone. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all accountancy package. There never will be. However, as someone who works exclusively with Xero, it’s important to me that you only use it if it works for you. Otherwise, it’s going to be like trying to get a round peg into a square hole every time you attempt some bookkeeping. And that’s not the point of investing in accounting software. You don’t want to ...

November 23, 2017

Self-employed: What expenses can I put through my tax return?

I don't normally do videos, but if you're in a rush, here is a 2 minute video that powers through some of the things you can claim. Below it is my blog which goes into a little more detail....

November 22, 2017 Posts 1-25 of 58 | Page next
 

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