New year, new laws…a brief guide to some of the changes

Posted on: January 8th, 2013

Welcome back to guest writer, Mark James. The legislation changes outlined in his article are only applicable to UK freelancers.

First off, congratulations for surviving all those 2012 Armageddon-based predictions. What a load of nonsense that turned out to be.

That said, don’t take that bigger sigh of relief just yet, as an abundance of new HMRC and government legislation is set to be unfurled this year, which, if you don’t get up to speed on, could have a cataclysmic impact upon your finances.

Thankfully, you’ve got finance bods like me to make things clear as day. Well, as clear as it’s possible to make this sort of thing.
So, if you’re a little lost, here’s an overview of some the changes that might impact on your freelancer finances this year…

January – Child Benefit changes

A brief guide to Self-Assessment penalties

Posted on: November 27th, 2012

The penalties and deadlines in this article are only applicable to UK freelancers.

As Christmas draws ever closer, so too does the final deadline for self-assessment. With this can come stress, worry and financial penalties if you file late. Conversely, if given apt time and attention, you can sail through the next couple of months keeping your tax concerns to a minimum.

Now, in case you didn’t know, the deadline for paper returns has already passed. Don’t despair just yet though, as an online tax return can still be submitted right up until January 31st. Plenty of time then.

Miss that, however, and the HMRC can unleash their wrath – a multitude of fines landing on the disorganised or lax freelancer’s doorstep. To make matters more complex, the HMRC recently altered the way in which tax penalties are administered. Therefore even if you thought you were up to speed on their legislative powers, you may well not be.

How to work tax efficiently as a freelancer

Posted on: December 8th, 2011

VAT returns. Income tax returns. Anything to do with accounts makes me want to yawn. However it’s important that we freelancers ensure we operate as tax efficiently as possible. If you’re new to freelancing, one of the first things you should do is hire a good accountant or book keeper who can advise you on how to go about this.

As I’m neither an accountant nor a book keeper, I’m not qualified to advise on this subject. But luckily I came across this article in Money Observer last week that gives an excellent overview of the things you should consider in order to be tax efficient. Please note that this information applies to the UK only.