BUSINESS SUPPORT SESSIONS
We run regular business support sessions, which focus on more in-depth topics relevant to starting up your own business. Examples are:
HMRC - Tax & Tax Returns
Public Liability and Product Indemnity Insurance
Estimates and Invoices
Promotion and Advertising
Social Media for business use
Business Cards and Flyers
Using local print media, broadcasters and networking
TAX ADVICE FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT
Making Tax Digital is part of the Government’s plan to make it easier for businesses to keep up-to-date with their accounts. The tax people, HMRC, want to make it easier for businesses to comply with the law. This will be the beginning of the end of paper tax returns for millions.
From April 2019, businesses with sales of over £85,000 must set up a digital tax account and file tax returns online every three months.
You may think that this doesn’t apply to you and it may not be compulsory for your business for some time. However, this is all part of getting everyone to keep their tax and banking online and it is likely that, before very long, it will apply to everyone in business.
It is unlikely that in your first years of trading you will earn more than the figure of £11,500 at which you must pay tax. Currently, if you earn less than £1000 in a tax year, you’re now not counted as self-employed for tax-return purposes. But you still have to complete a tax return. If you don’t, you could be fined very heavily, so it’s very important that you don’t ignore any communications from HMRC by post or your online account.
The average earnings of a UK sole trader are variously estimated at between £13,500 and £19,000 per year. That could be you one day and that’s when you’ll need to pay tax.
In addition, everyone claiming Universal Credit needs to report their self-employed earnings at the end of each monthly assessment period. You’ll need to report payments into and out of your business in the assessment period. For further information about Tax and Universal Credits visit https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit
However much you earn, you need to keep detailed records of what you earn, who paid you and when and a list of chargeable expenses, such as stationery, computer hardware and software, car expenses – indeed anything that you buy and use for your business only.
It’s a good idea to install the HMRC app on your phone (versions are available for Android and iPhone). You can’t currently do your tax return on the app, but you can keep track of your current position and get reminders of tax due. Eventually this is the way you’ll access everything to do with HMRC and your tax, either on your phone, tablet or computer.
It’s also worthwhile looking around for some online accounting software. There are a number of packages around, some free, though generally the better and more powerful apps ask you to pay a monthly fee. Try a few free packages or enrol for a month’s free trial with other software and see how you like it. Eventually, this is the way everyone will do their tax, so it’s better to be prepared sooner rather than later. If you sometimes think that tomorrow never comes, it’ll be here before you know it!
You can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns