If you have recently gone self-employed you are most likely suffering from an overload of information!
We don’t want to add to that, but thought we would put together some helpful tips that perhaps aren’t as commonly mentioned and in amongst the whirlwind of new information may slip through the cracks.
- Set up separate bank accounts for your business and your personal life. This keeps things neat and tidy and reduces the risk of a business expense getting lost amongst your personal payments.
2. Create a digital back up of your paper records for those ‘just in case’ reasons. Take a photo or scan in your receipts/ invoices, save them into month and year folders and back them up to the cloud.
3. Remember that you may have to convince an HMRC tax inspecter of the validity of your business expenses, so only claim for justified business expenses. If in doubt chat to us and we can help you out.
4. Make sure to budget for tax throughout the year, as a self-employed person your tax is not taken from your payslip monthly but will need to be paid as a lump sum. HMRC has an online calculator that can help you estimate how much you need to save: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tools/sa-ready-reckoner/calculator.htm
5. The majority of the time HMRC will only contact you by post. If you receive an email or text message notifying you of a tax rebate, asking you to pay or for any financial details it is most likely a scam. If in doubt do not open it and contact HMRC for clarification. Click here for more information.
Finally… if numbers and paperwork really isn’t your thing then hiring an accountant is the perfect solution. They can keep on top of things for you, keep you on the right side of HMRC and most importantly give you peace of mind- allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.